Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Aphid numbers quickly building in Iowa - try Speed Scouting!

In a recent ICM News article, I reviewed scouting and management tactics for aphids in field crops. They seem to be popping up in Iowa corn and soybean, especially in the northern counties. Soybean aphid populations are doubling every few days in my small plot efficacy evaluation trial at the ISU Northeast Research Farm. Populations will likely exceed the economic threshold of 250 per plant next week and we plan to make our foliar applications when that happens. It always raises a red flag to me when most plants within a field have some soybean aphid - even just a couple on most plants. A week of favorable temperatures can allow them to have exponential growth. We also know that soybean aphids generate more winged adults after soybean bloom and are highly mobile short and long distances.

Now is the time for soybean aphid. Turn over leaves and estimate aphids per plant. 

Have you ever tried Speed Scouting to make treatment decisions for soybean aphid? In an area with lots of soybean aphid, this sampling method can greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to decide if an application is needed. I've got blank Speed Scouting forms available here. Or you can take a look at a blank form below.


It's easy to use and most importantly can save a lot of time (hence the name!). You only have to count to 40. Once you get to 40 - stop and consider that plant infested. Look at 11 plants to get started and then use the decision matrix to get the sampling decision. Most of time you will know if you should treat or not in less than 15 minutes.

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