Minnesota kicking off 2012 agricultural pest surveys

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is conducting its annual surveys for new and emerging pests in some of the state’s key crops.
The department says its surveys help Minnesota farmers identify pest infestations in their early stages, when they are easier to control or eradicate. Accurate pest surveys also help ensure access to domestic and foreign trade markets for Minnesota commodities.

The brown marmorated stink bug, a new arrival in Minnesota, will be included in all crop surveys due to its ability to feed on and damage a variety of plant species. Otherwise, this year’s Agricultural Pest Survey will have three areas of focus: small grains, corn and soybeans.

Survey information is gathered through traps, visual surveys and sweep nets. The surveys will be conducted through August.