Soybean gall midge appears in two Missouri counties

  • Published: Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Missouri farmers should be on the lookout for soybean gall midge.  University of Missouri Extension field crop entomologist Kevin Rice confirms that the insect is present in two Missouri counties.

The soybean gall midge feeds on soybean stems and causes yield loss.

Rice reports that the midge was found in 2019 in Atchison County and recently in Holt County. Both counties sit in Missouri’s far northwest corner.

The midge, a voracious feeder on soybean stems, spread widely through Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota in 2018.

MU Extension agronomists and entomologists are scouting Missouri fields to determine the distribution of this new pest. Rice encourages anyone who suspects the soybean gall midge is present in fields to contact their local MU Extension agronomist.

Soybean gall midge larvae feed internally in the base of soybean steams. It starts as a dark discoloration at the stem bases. Feeding larvae disrupt phloem and xylem transport and results in yield loss. In large numbers, it causes stems to become brittle and break at the base, says Rice.

Feeding occurs primarily along field edges. Rice urges farmers to scout along field borders when soybean are at V2 growth stage. Look for darkening at the stems. Remove discolored stems, peel back the epidermis and look for white or bright orange larvae.

Rice says there are no management recommendations at this time since soybean gall midge is a newly discovered species. Seed treatments do not appear to be effective since larvae are active after V2 growth stage. 

Find more information at

Contact Rice at [email protected] or call 573-882-2838.

Writer: Linda Geist

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Kevin Rice

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