Monday, August 15, 2011

It's our big soybean aphid spray day

My lab has the nation's largest soybean aphid efficacy trial. It originally started with Matt O'Neal, but he kindly gave me the program when I started at ISU in 2009. The program has typically focused on foliar insecticides, but last year we also incorporated some seed treatments and the Rag1 host plant resistance gene. This year, we even expanded to three locations (Northwest Farm, Northeast Farm, and the Johnson Farm). Last week the Northwest Farm hit threshold and applications were made. Even though aphids haven't exceeded threshold at the other two farms, we are spraying them this week. The Northeast Farm has all our treatments, 35 this year, so spraying all the plots takes some serious planning with a large crew.

The 2009 crew is all suited up in Tyvek, getting ready to start spraying. 
Photo by Erin Hodgson.

At all our locations, we are definitely seeing a visual difference between susceptible and resistant soybean. Aphids are present, but at low levels in Rag1 plots. I will update the blog on yield data once the beans are cut. If you are curious about what products we used in the past, go to our soybean aphid website. We are trying out some new spray equipment this year, so I will also recap how it worked (or didn't!).

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