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SD farmers urged to check for Japanese beetles

BROOKINGS (AP) -- An entomologist says South Dakota farmers need to check their corn and soybean fields this year for Japanese beetles.

South Dakota State University Extension entomologist Kelley J. Tilmon says Japanese beetles are up to a half-inch long with metallic green and copper colors. She says the introduced pest was first found in the U.S. in New Jersey in 1916, but is becoming common in the Midwest.

Tilmon says the Japanese beetle has been detected in several South Dakota counties, particularly in the southeastern part of the state.

The entomologist says the beetles eat soybean leaves and also feed on corn silks.

Tilmon says most problems with Japanese beetles have been in gardens so far, but farmers also should check for the bug in their crops.

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