With spring on the horizon, entomologists predict that swarms of kudzu bugs will be out in force soon. The bug destroys kudzu, but it also likes soybeans and ornamental flowers. For anyone with a white house, watch out: the kudzu bug is inexplicably attracted to light colors.
A University of Georgia researcher has received a $1 million National Science Foundation grant to study the genetics of soybeans. The study will focus on investigating the function of soybean genes, particularly those that affect crop quality and yield.
Georgia’s soybean growers have a new nuisance to deal with: the so-called “kudzu bug.” The insects seem to control the growth of the invasive kudzu plant, but they also like soybeans, a $76 million crop last year in Georgia. The “kudzu bugs” invade fields by the thousands and feed directly on the plants’ stems.