Each year, the Illinois Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) Program conducts statewide insect surveys looking into the different pest pressures across Illinois. State Agricultural Pest Survey Coordinator Kelly Estes explains surveyors cover five different corn and soybean fields in each of the crop reporting districts across the state. She says in 2023, surveys found lower insect pressure than in past years.
“Which could be due to lots of different reasons,” says Estes. “Different weather patterns, overwintering, and honestly, management practices. Lots of activity in the fields this summer where we had fungicide and insecticide applications going on, and sometimes a little earlier than what we normally would see them. So, as we were surveying in mid-July, we saw sprayers, helicopters out, just overall some lower insect populations.”
In western Illinois, Estes says Japanese beetles continue to be a prominent pest.