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Soybean Aphid Control and Scouting

Soybean Aphid Resistance 
Figure 1. Soybean aphids infesting a soybean leaf. (Photo courtesy of R. Kock, University of Minnesota)

Figure 2. Counties with reported failures of pyrethroids for control of soybean aphid. Red-shaded counties indicate those from which Extension entomologists received reports of failures. (Maps courtesy of B. Potter, University of Minnesota)
Management of Insecticide-resistant Soybean Aphids
North Dakota State University
Robert Koch, University of Minnesota; Erin Hodgson, Iowa State University; Janet Knodel, North Dakota State University; Adam Varenhorst, South Dakota State University
As the heat of the growing season begins to take hold, so will soybean aphids; and now, more than ever, it is becoming increasingly important to scout for them.  Confirmed cases of resistance to pyrethroids has added an additional obstacle to the management of aphids, so it is essential to begin managing before populations get out of control.  Here are some ways to approach soybean aphid management going forward.  

Scouting is of utmost importance in tracking the spread of this insect, which is sometimes difficult to stay on top of amidst a busy season. With that in mind, the University of Minnesota Extension has provided some speed scouting methods for farmers to utilize as a more time-efficient approach to monitoring.

Historically, we’ve been able to rely on insecticide applications to manage soybean aphids. Our reliance on only a few insecticide groups in combination with their biology & persistence has led them to develop resistance to the pyrethroid mode of action.  
  • If you choose to spray, be mindful of product labels and spray instructions. After application, continue to scout closely for at least 2 weeks.
  • If your initial treatment doesn’t work, it’s unlikely that applying it a second time will be effective. Rule out other causes for error and rotate to a different insecticide group.
  • Maintain application setbacks from permanent water bodies to protect surface water from runoff, drift or leaching.
For more information on soybean aphid management in your area, get in touch with your Golden Harvest Seed Advisor.

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