This growing season has presented many challenges, from heavy rains early on, to a drought later in the season. We are now to a point that we will begin to see pockets of aphids and spider mites. Heavy rains have suppressed the spider mite population, but the aphids are still coming in rapidly. Aphids can cause many issues with crops resulting in an economic loss for the grower. Aphids breed rapidly, so catching them early can help save crops and money. Nymphs and adults feed on plant juices, attacking leaves, stems, buds, flowers, fruit, and/or roots, depending on the species. The aphids will leave a sticky substance on the root called “honeydew,” which may attract other insects. The honeydew can sometimes encourage a fungal growth called sooty mold, causing branches and leaves to appear black. To look for aphids check the bottom side of the top few leaves. If you see aphids or would like one of our agronomists to come take a look at your fields don’t hesitate to call. Our agronomists are here to serve you, and will help create an action plan that is right for your farm.