Climate change affects our agriculture in more ways than we imagine: Brown marmorated stink bug
Sometimes, it takes only one more generation a year to become a pest.
I saw a stink bug on my window one October morning while visiting my hometown in Northwestern Turkey. When I got closer to the balcony window, it was not one; there were many stink bugs, both brown marmorated and green stink bugs. This was surprising to me. When I was growing up, there were no insects around this time of the year. October was too cold to see any insects.
I was interested in brown marmorated stink bugs because I got a lot of questions about their control globally and whether Pheronym could develop a solution. However, it has not been a problem for Turkish hazelnut farmers yet.
I mentioned my observation to my mother, and she said, “Oh, those green bugs. They are a big problem for my vegetables”.
So I asked my cousin, who is an agricultural engineer that advises farmers in plant protection and diagnoses pest problems, about the brown marmorated stink bug. She said the brown marmorated stink bugs will probably be a pest next year. They should be hiding to overwinter at this time of the year. They already had three generations this year. They are still not hiding to overwinter because the weather is so warm. Instead, they will have the 4th generation before it gets too cold. Next year, the brown marmorated stink bug will be a pest to manage. This is just like whiteflies. One year, it was so warm they had one more generation; the following year, it was a pest for hazelnuts. Climate change is increasing pest pressure on farmers.
Of course, this means more pesticide use. We need more eco- and climate-friendly solutions to deal with increasing pest pressure.
Author: Dr. Fatma Kaplan is the CEO/CSO of Pheronym and Activate-Berkeley Fellow & Berkeley Lab Affiliate Cyclotron Road Cohort 2021. She is an entrepreneur and an accomplished scientist with experience in both biology and chemistry. She has a Ph.D. in Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology and postdoctoral training in Natural Product…