Scout For These No-Till Soybean Pests

A little research, some timely exploration of your fields and an eye for detail will help you keep insects and diseases in check.

To ensure the continued success of your soybean crop, pest and disease scouting are important throughout the vegetative growing stages, and until soybeans reach the reproductive growth stages.

When scouting, check stands for uniformity.

By making stand assessments throughout the growing season, it can help identify when and where stand losses are occurring, and what may be causing them.

As you scout each month, go back to the same field locations so you can really assess what is happening to individual plants.

Here are tips and information on scouting for common soybean diseases and pests:

Soybean Aphids

Scouting for aphids should begin in mid- to late June — or by the late vegetative stage — and continue on a weekly basis until the R5 stage.

Scout more intensively in late June to early July. Estimate population densities on 20 to 30 plants per field, representing at least 80% of the field. Identify the heavily infested fields and continue to monitor them closely.

Be sure to check the entire plant, including the undersides of leaves, petioles and pods. Aphids move from the top to the middle or lower areas of the canopy.

The late-vegetative and early-reproductive stages are when soybean aphid populations tend to increase the most. These stages are also where the yield-return-to-treatment ratio is highest.

Insecticide treatment decisions should be based on an economic threshold of 250 aphids per plant. This threshold should be based on an average number of aphids per plant over 20 to 30 plants throughout…

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Leverich jim

Jim Leverich

No-Till Farmer's Conservation Ag Operator Fellow for 2022, Jim Leverich is a no-till farmer near Sparta, Wis. His 1,000 acre-farm has been in his family since 1864 and no-tilled since 1984. An innovator and educator, Leverich has 35-plus years of no-till and on-farm research experience, and possesses a deep, practical understanding of what makes no-till work. For his contributions while at the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Service, Leverich was named the No-Till Innovator of the Year (Research & Education category) in 2006. A talented presenter and writer, Leverich was a regular guest columnist for No-Till Farmer in 2011 when it earned the Gold Medal as the nation’s top newsletter from the American Society of Business Press Editors.

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