Pest associated with drought now devastating crops

MILWAUKEE — Farmers in southern Wisconsin are being dealt another blow. On top of drought conditions ruining crops, the dry weather has invited a pest along for the ride — spider mites.

Soy bean farmer Dan Craig says the drought has definitely taken a toll on his crops. Now, he’s especially worried the spider mites will finish off what’s left.

“You see the field behind me turns kind of a lime green color.  That’s actually the leaf turning brown,” said Craig.

Spider mites are tiny bugs, difficult to see on a plant’s leaf. But they trouble they cause is much easier to spot. The mites feed on soy bean plants — taking nutrients and moisture out of the plants. In drought conditions, the bugs can mature in one week. The females can produce a dozen eggs a day.

Craig is fighting the spider mites. He’s spraying an insecticide on the fields — trying to stop the spread across his 350 acres.

Craig says he won’t know until late October whether all his preventative measures have worked.

CLICK HERE for more drought coverage via FOX6Now.com.

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