Proper Scouting for Soybean Aphid Saves Winneshiek County Farmers about $680,000

Brian Lang, Extension Field Agronomist, Northeast Area

Problem Statement:

Soybean aphid is a potentially serious reoccurring pest in soybean fields in Winneshiek County.  However, seasonal field scouting for the insect is required to maximize net profit of insect management efforts.

Programmatic Response:

Since the inception of Soybean aphid in northeast Iowa, the ISU Extension Agronomist has conducted numerous educational programs for farmers, crop consultants and agricultural suppliers on Integrated Pest Management practices for management of this pest.  Just in Winneshiek County, the Extension Agronomist conducted an average of 5 programs per year for each of the last 7 years on management of Soybean aphid.

Outcome Statement (one or more of the following):  

A survey was conducted at the end of the 2008 season to estimate the value of Integrated Pest Management practices for Soybean aphid management.  The survey represented 20 percent of the soybean acreage in the county with 105 farmers responding.  Of those that scouted for Soybean aphid to determine the need for a pesticide application, the average net profit was $22 per acre, or $136,600 for those represented in the survey.  Extrapolated this across all soybean acres in Winneshiek County, it equals a net profit of $683,000.

However, there is still a need to continue this education.  The survey also showed that only half of the farmers were scouting for the pest.  The most common answer from survey participants that did not scout was, “I spray my fields when the neighbor does.”  So, ISU Extension’s educational efforts will continue and work on those that have not yet adopted Integrated Pest Management for management of this pest.  These survey results should help to convince those of the value of scouting.

2009

100 Corn and Soybean Production and Protection

Page last updated: February 19, 2009
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu