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Research Finds Best IPM Against Soybean Aphid
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 05/18/2017

The two-year, multi-state study conducted by the University of Wisconsin and six other schools show that many soybean growers will invest in neonicotinoid insecticide seed treatments this growing season. However, the research indicated that even during periods of infestation by the soybean aphid, the neonicotinoid treatment produced the same yields as using no insecticide at all.

The neonicotinoid insecticide thiamethoxam, which is applied as a coating to soybean seeds, provides a maximum of two weeks of protection against insect feeding. But aphids typically don't reach damaging numbers until much later in the season, said Christian Krupke, an entomology professor and extension specialist at Purdue University and one of the researchers and authors of the study.

"As a result, when soybean aphid populations reached threshold levels, from late July to August, the insecticide levels in tissues of neonicotinoid-treated soybean foliage were similar to plants grown from seeds without the insecticide," Krupke said.

The research study also concluded that farmers in all the regions in the study should employ the Insect Pest Management approach, which includes combining scouting and foliage-applied insecticide where necessary.

"In terms of long-term sustainability and the bottom line for your yearly balance sheet, the IPM approach is the most effective approach for pest management in the growing season," Krupke said.

Other schools involved with the study included Purdue University, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, North Dakota State University, the University of Minnesota, and South Dakota State University. The research was grower-funded, using soybean checkoff funds provided by the North Central Soybean Research Program.

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