Three Aphid-Management Practices to Consider on Your Farm

aphids

The soybean aphid is an invasive pest that affects many states across the Midwest. Infestation risk can be increased by cooler mid-to-late-summer temperatures, and soybean stress from late planting, disease or drought. But farmers can manage aphids with certain practices.

Learn more about these three management practices by clicking on the links below to watch free, online videos from the Plant Management Network:

  • Biological control. This free aphid-management method can reduce, delay or eliminate the need for additional aphid-management methods, such as insecticide applications, which reduces your costs. “Biological control has the potential to be a long-term sustainable aphid-control method,” says Iowa State University entomology researcher Thelma Heidel-Baker, Ph. D. “It is free pest control that reduces pest pressure from the soybean aphid by natural predators feeding on aphids.” A recent study estimated the value of biological control of soybean aphids at $84 million annually across the Midwest. This webcast discusses some of the predators present in your fields and how they can benefit you.
  • Neonicotinoid-treated seed. About 70-80 percent of soybean acreage each year is planted with neonicotinoid-treated seed. However, treated seeds provide protection from insect pests for only for a few weeks after planting. In regions where soybean aphids are the main pest, an integrated pest management (IPM) approach that includes treating aphids when they reach threshold levels is a better option for farmers. This webcast gives producers the information they need to determine risks and benefits of each approach.
  • Host plant resistance. Sustainable IPM programs use multiple, proactive tactics to reduce pest pressure and protect yield. One of those is planting insect-resistant varieties. Insects that feed on resistant plants have a shorter lifespan or produce fewer offspring. This webcast features the role of host plant resistance and how it is an emerging tool for farmers.

The soy checkoff sponsors the “Focus on Soybean” webcasts through the North Central Soybean Research Program and a partnership with the Plant Management Network.