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Stink Bug Stench In Feed Doesn’t Transfer To Milk

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Christie Ileto 370 x 278 Christie Ileto
Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She...
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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — Stink bugs may be spoiling another year for Marylanders but scientists say there’s one thing they won’t spoil.

Christie Ileto explains what a new study means for milk drinkers.

Stink bugs are back, and they may be pests but there’s one thing scientists say they won’t be spoiling this year: milk!

Results from a study released Monday show dairy cows given feed contaminated with brown marmorated stink bugs produced milk with no stink bug odor.

“It’s important for farmers because they were concerned if the odor compound did get into the milk that it would discourage consumers from consuming their product,” said Stanley Fultz.

Dairy science extension agent Stanley Fultz says that’s also good news for milk drinkers.

“There is no impact at all on the brown marmorated stink bug on the quality or the wholesomeness of the milk,” said Fultz.

Three years ago, the critters came to Maryland in masses, killing crops and hurting farmers’ bottom lines.

“I almost don’t want to put up cucumbers next year or squash because they do such a number,” said one farmer.

While findings show milk is not affected by the odor components found in stink bugs, scientists say it’s safe to say other dairy products like yogurt and cream cheese won’t be affected either.

But Fultz says we’re not out of the woods yet.

“We do expect damage again this year. We do expect damage to some of our crops,” he said.

And that’s still something Maryland’s farmers have to brace for.

Officials say from a dairy standpoint, the crops affected the most by stink bugs will be corn.

Six Maryland dairy farms were used in the study. Five of them are in Frederick County.

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