Field experiments were conducted in Stoneville, MS, to determine the impact of soybean planting date and maturity group on stink bug (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) populations. Maturity group IV and V soybeans were planted on three planting dates in 2003 and 2004. Planting dates were late March-early April, late April-early May, and late May-early June. Plots were sampled weekly with a standard 38.1-cm-diameter sweep net. Planting date and maturity group each had a significant effect on stink bug populations. In general, the earliest planting date had the lowest densities of stink bugs, whereas the latest planting date had the highest densities of stink bugs. Over the 2-yr period, cumulative numbers of stink bugs (SE) ranged from 17.9 (6.25) per 25 sweeps for the first planting to 190.9 (20.03) per 25 sweeps for the third planting date when averaged across maturity groups. Additionally, stink bug populations were generally lower on maturity group IV soybeans than on maturity group V soybeans. Cumulative numbers of stink bugs on maturity group IV soybeans averaged 52.4 (26.23) and 25.2 (6.93) in 2003 and 2004, respectively. On maturity group V soybeans, cumulative numbers of stink bugs averaged 96.9 (28.05) and 85.7 (40.84) in 2003 and 2004, respectively. These data provide valuable information about the population dynamics of stink bugs and indicate that early plantings of maturity group IV soybeans in the mid-South will escape heavy stink bug densities.
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