Soybean aphids are one of the mot significant obstacles that soybean farmers face, and the South Dakota soybean checkoff has invested in research to help guide management strategies. Researchers throughout the Midwest, especially at South Dakota State University (SDSU), are working to provide tools and information to help producers deal with this problematic pest.
In this Best Bean Practices Video, Kelley Tilmon, soybean entomologist at SDSU shares some of core strategies for managing aphid populations. Tilmon says that knowing what’s in your field is your best defense. Farmers should begin scouting in late June or early July and continue through pod fill. Check 20 to 30 plants across the field to determine if action should be taken. For South Dakota, the action threshold is 250 aphids per plant average. According to Tilmon, when farmers begin seeing an average of 250 aphids per plant, they should start lining up treatment. This leaves about a 5-day window before you will experience a yield drag due to growing aphid populations in your field.
Farmers can find more information on aphid management, including insecticide treatments, in the digital Soybean Aphid Field Guide from the North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP). NCSRP is funded by a number of state soybean checkoff organizations to maximize regional research efforts on topics like aphids. To request a hard copy of the Soybean Aphid Field Guide, contact the South Dakota Soybean office at 605.330.9942 or firstname.lastname@example.org.