Potato leafhoppers are very small (~1/8 inches), wedge-shaped insects. They are bright green, quick moving, and have piercing/sucking mouthparts. When feeding, they inject a toxic saliva which causes localized stippling, yellowish to reddish-yellow discoloration of leaves (especially at the tips), leaf crinkling and cupping. This injury may appear similar to herbicide damage. Extensive feeding damage can result in plants that are stunted. The thick pubescence on soybean leaves tends to prevent this small insect from getting close enough to implant its mouthparts. However, young plants without heavy pubescence are vulnerable to leafhopper attack. Stressed plants are also more vulnerable to injury from potato leafhopper than are healthy plants. In addition, due to this insect s host preference, soybean fields adjacent to alfalfa fields should be considered at a greater risk from potato leafhopper infestation due to movement when alfalfa is cut. Scout for potato leafhopper by examining fields with two trifoliolates or less, and treat if populations exceed 1/plant at V2, or if seedling plants with dying leaves are present.
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