The points of contact between Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service and the grower & business communities are the NJ County Agricultural Agents. The agents are a tremendous source of information for both new and experienced growers. Visit your local county extension office.
You may have read in different farming publications about the presence of bean platasipid (Megacopta cribraria) or more commonly the kudzu bug in the southeastern US. It is referred to as the kudzu bug because it has a tendency to feed on kudzu. This is not necessarily a bad thing in the south where kudzu is an exotic invasive species. In the southeastern US kudzu bug has become a concern because it is also a pest of soybeans. This stink bug species is smaller than brown marmorated stink bug and has a different shape. Like brown marmorated stink bug it also can overwinter in homes. This stink bug species was discovered in Georgia in 2009 and has since spread through out the southeast and is heading north. The kudzu bug has most recently been found in Sussex County Delaware. It has also been found in Maryland in Prince George, Charles, Calvert, and Anne Arundel counties. As kudzu bug is a soybean pest we need to keep a watchful eye for it here in New Jersey.
Over the past few days I have received several reports of large grasshopper populations in several soybean fields. Initially, grasshoppers tend to occur along field edges and areas near drainage ditches. No economic damage has been reported due to grasshoppers yet. But consider this an early warning to scout fields. There are no good thresholds established for grasshoppers in corn or soybeans. Generally consider treatment in pre-bloom soybeans if grasshoppers are present and 40% or more defoliation is encountered. When in the pod forming and pod filling stages treatment is recommended with 20% or more defoliation.