Soybean Gall Midge Expands to Eight More Nebraska Counties

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Soybean Gall Midge image compared to a US penny.A small insect less than the size of a penny, called a gall midge, is wreaking large havoc to Midwestern soybean crops.  Discovered in 2018, this insect has targeted soybean fields in Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska.  In 2021, the presence of this insect expanded to eight more Nebraska counties.  

According to Justin McMechan, Crop Protection and Cropping Systems Specialist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Entomology Department, the Soybean Gall Midge has caused significant injury at all the east-central Nebraska research sites this year.  McMechan said during the 2021 growing season, adult emergence of the insect was first detected on May 31. The gall midge eats the stems of the plant preventing vital nutrients from getting to the soybeans. 

The eight Nebraska counties that now have the Soybean Gall Midge are Aurora, Holt, Loup, Wheeler, Custer, Valley, Sherman, Fillmore, and Thayer (see attached map). 

The Nebraska Soybean Board funded a 2021 planting project to evaluate the number of larvae, plant injury, and yield loss. McMechan said soybeans planted between April 22 to May 12 had a greater number of larvae than soybeans planted May 22 or June 1.  The study also looked at the timing of foliar insecticides, seed treatments, at-plant insecticides, methods of foliar application, the movement of adults, and seasonal larval abundance. 

More details about the Nebraska Soybean Board project and the eight new Nebraska counties with the Soybean Gall Midge may be found at General details about the Soybean Gall Midge is at