Although some parts of Iowa have had adequate moisture, other areas could use some rain. Drought stress combined with high temperatures is good news for field crop pests like grasshoppers and spider mites. If your area is hot and dry, consider scouting fields now and throughout August.
The two-spotted spider mite thrives in hot, dry weather. Infestations typically start at field margins and progressively move to the center, if weather conditions remain favorable. Use a hand lens or shake plants on paper to see if mites are present.
Iowa State University
Hodgson, Erin W., "Drought Stress Favors Grasshoppers and Spider Mites" (2011). Integrated Crop Management News. 281.
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