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Controlling insects, balancing economics


A field crops entomologist is encouraging growers to scout for some insects that thrive in dry conditions.

Chris DiFonzo with Michigan State University tells Brownfield sucking insects like aphids and potato leaf hopper, along with spider mites can cause more damage in drought conditions.

“If it’s drier, it’s usually warmer, so insects and mites are developing faster,” she explains. “Drought-stressed plants tend to be a better diet for these insects, so when the plants are stressed, they have different compounds in them.

Controlling insects, balancing economics