New wasp could be big help for farmers

New wasp could be big help for farmers
Auburn University researchers have discovered a small parasitic wasp, about the size of a pinhead, that’s a natural enemy of the kudzu bug.

AUBURN, AL (WSFA) - Auburn University entomologists have discovered a tiny wasp that could provide a huge benefit to soybean producers and other farmers.

Kudzu bugs are responsible for devouring soybean crops, a staple for Alabama farmers.

The Kudzu bug has emerged as the top yield-limiting pest of soybeans, which rank as the second most planted field crop in the United States with an estimated annual market value of approximately $39 billion.

Auburn University researchers have discovered a small parasitic wasp, about the size of a pinhead, that's a natural enemy of the kudzu bug. The wasp lays its egg on a Kudzu bug egg, and kills it.

"The egg hatches and ends up killing the kudzu bug. Farmers may not even know that these natural enemies are in the field because they are very tiny. All they will see is that over time there is a decline in the population of kudzu bug in the field," says Associate Dean for Research, Auburn University College of Agriculture, Henry Fadamiro.

Fadamiro says that they plan on raising a large number of the parasitic wasps next spring.

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