Having had to deal with the pest for years, Louisiana is very familiar with the red-banded stink bug.

“In 2009, in Mississippi we sprayed 21 counties for red-banded stink bugs. Arkansas sprayed for some. They were found all the way up in Tennessee. They were really making a push and we were very concerned.”

The next winter was very cold and knocked the pest back. “They disappeared for two years. Now, after a couple of mild winters, we’re starting to see them again farther north. Last year, we actually sprayed south of Highway 82 in Mississippi quite a few fields.”

Also, in 2013, there was an increase in Southern green stink bug. “I hit some numbers in Noxubee County, on the east-central side of the state, of 100, or so, per 25 sweeps.

Question is: will Southern green stink bugs be bad in 2014 after the recent January freeze? Catchot is unsure. “I don’t know how long the sustained cold is needed to beat these back.”

Regardless, once soybeans get to R-6, “when the beans are swollen and touching in the pods, bushels-per-acre-loss is likely not going to happen due to stink bugs. There is a chance of is quality loss at the elevator.”

However, Catchot says quality losses aren’t as common as many believe. “I know producers that won’t spray for stinkbugs past R-6 no matter what the numbers are.

“What we’re telling folks now is once you hit R-6, go up from nine per 25 sweeps to 20. And terminate at seven days past R-6.”