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Extension > Local Extension Offices > Winona > County Agriculture Educator > Articles > Just the facts: A review of the biology and economics behind soybean aphid insecticide recommendations

Just the facts: A review of the biology and economics behind soybean aphid insecticide recommendations

University of Minnesota: Bruce Potter, Robert Koch & Phil Glogoza, Iowa State University: Erin Hodgson, Purdue University: Christian Krupke, Penn State University: John Tooker, Michigan State University: Chris DiFonzo, Ohio State University: Andrew Michel & Kelley Tilmon, North Dakota State University: Travis Prochaska & Janet Knodel, University of Nebraska: Robert Wright & Thomas E. Hunt, University of Wisconsin: Bryan Jensen, University of Illinois: Kelley Estes & Joseph Spencer

Before soybean aphid was identified as a pest of soybean in the U.S. in 2000, insecticide applications to northern soybean crops were rare, targeting sporadic insect and mite outbreaks. Although large infestations have been relatively uncommon since the early to mid-2000’s, the soybean aphid is unquestionably still the key insect pest of soybeans in many North Central states. A tremendous amount of research and observational data has been obtained for this pest since its introduction and we have the tools and the knowledge to manage this pest effectively.

The question is where to get the best information? There is a wide array of pest management advice and information available for soybean producers. The internet is particularly rife with newsletters, social media postings, and videos that all purport to give expert advice. It’s wise to always consider the source of the information and also evaluate what it is actually based on - making a statement with absolute certainty doesn’t necessarily make it a fact. As scientists at universities, we make pest management recommendations that are based on repeated and controlled studies, statistical tests and, ultimately, a system called “peer review” that ensures that what we publish is vetted thoroughly and evaluated by other scientists, often anonymously. However, for many of the sources of information available to soybean farmers, there is no review of any kind. As a result, many of the “recommendations” from entities not relying on sound science are never challenged or critically evaluated. As such, they are just opinions.

To continue reading and learn about specific recommendations and reasoning, visit Just the facts: A review of the biology and economics behind soybean aphid insecticide recommendations

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