Farming is a high-risk business—with a variety of threats that could destroy your crops. In addition to hail storms and flooding, you also have to contend with insect activity. While there are many pests that can cause serious harm, the ones below are responsible for a substantial portion of crop insurance claims.
A Guide to Crop-Destroying Insects
1. Corn Rootworm
While there are several species of corn rootworm, the western and northern varieties are the most dangerous. From the moment the larvae emerge, they begin feeding on corn roots, becoming hungrier as they become adults—whose attention remains on the roots but may also extend to the leaves. In some cases, the damage they cause might not be immediately obvious—the low-quality corn often hidden behind their husks. However, farmers may notice the plants having an overall bent shape. Regardless, they should make a point of sampling ears throughout the season for warning signs. These infestations are more serious after mild winters and warm, dry springs, which allow more larvae to emerge and feed.
2. Stink Bugs
As terrible as stink bugs can be for your home, they’re even worse for your crops. These pests, which feed on a wide variety of plants, fruits, and vegetables, leaving visible dimples, are potentially responsible for millions of dollars in crop insurance claims every year—and their numbers are rising. A single female can produce 100 eggs per birth cycle—of which they can have several—and with few natural enemies to reduce their population, they will continue to wreak havoc on farms.
3. Japanese Beetles
Capable of feeding on over 300 species of plants, these green-headed beetles can destroy a variety of crops, especially when they gather in large swarms. Their primary interest is in shredding leaves and flowers, although they will go after the roots of grass. Although their feeding cycle lasts only a few weeks, that’s often enough time for them to cause enough damage to ruin your yield.
Since 1981, Nebraska Crop Insurance Agency has helped farmers throughout Lancaster and Gage counties protect the value of their investments. Since no two customers’ circumstances are the same, neither is their coverage. Visit their website for more on their offerings, including multi-peril and hail insurance. Or call (402) 223-2694 for a crop insurance quote today.