Dairy farmers can continue to harvest brown marmorated stink bug-infested crops after USDA researchers found no detectable stench in milk from dairy cows given feed contaminated with the odorous pests.
According to the Associated Press, the research was completed at the USDA's labs in Beltsville, Md., and Wyndmoor, Pa.
Researchers studied cows that either ate stink bug-contaminated feed or had stink bug odor compounds placed in their stomachs. The results showed no signs of stink bug stench in the cow's milk supply.
The findings will be published in the proceedings of the American Dairy Science Association's annual meeting in July. Read more here.
The Republican-Herald reports that Pennsylvania is one of many locations this year expected to see an overwhelming number of bugs this spring. The stinky insect doesn't harm humans, but it can destroys crops and invade homes.
"From an agricultural perspective, farmers and growers need to be very vigilant and should monitor their crops weekly in the growing season," Tom Ford, a commercial horticulture educator from the Penn State Extension office in Cambria County told The Republican-Herald.
The University of Kentucky Extension notes that "wheat cover crops provide an attractive early spring host for the insects, and subsequently they feed on emerging corn. The stink bugs may overwinter in the wheat stubble, or they may leave the field for over wintering sites and return in the spring."
For more information about the stink bug, check out www.StopBMSB.org for stink bug tracking, tips and news.