Ag professionals learn a new web-based tool for managing soybean aphid

Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension
Iowa State University

Extension Lead(s)

Erin Hodgson, extension entomologist with statewide responsibilities
Email:; Phone: 515.294.2847

Your Position


POW # and Team

 ­­­­­__x__100 Corn and Soybean Production and Protection
­­­­­_____ 110 Dairy
­­­­­_____ 120 Farm and Business Management
­­­­­_____ 130 Horticulture: Commercial and Consumer
­­­­­_____ 140 Iowa Beef Center
­­­­­_____ 150 Iowa Pork Industry Center
­­­­­_____ 160 Natural Resources and Stewardship

ANR Priority (select all that apply)

­­­­­__x__Global Food Security and Hunger
­­­­­_____Regional Food Systems
­­­­­__x__Natural Resources & Environmental Stewardship
­­­­­__x__Food Safety
­­­­­_____Sustainable Energy – Biofuels & Biobased Products
­­­­­_____Climate Change

Title of Success Story

Ag professionals learn a new web-based tool for managing soybean aphid

Continuing Story

__x__ No                _____  Yes (If continuing, what story?)

Knowledge Areas: (USDA categories)


Desired Changes


(Why is it important to address this issue with education?  What are the desired changes?)

Soybean aphid is the primary pest in Midwestern soybean. To protect yield and increase overall production profits, growers are encouraged to incorporate regular scouting and make timely treatment decisions. Many grower utilize professional scouting with crop consultants, extension agronomists and agribusiness personnel to make treatment decisions. But many of these people are responsible for multiple fields spread out over several Iowa counties. So a binomial sampling plan, called Speed Scouting for Soybean Aphid, was developed in 2007 to save time during especially busy periods in the summer. In 2009, SoyPod DSS was created by entomologist Dr. Brian McCornack at Kansas State University, and features a web-based tool to make Speed Scouting paperless.

(Outputs: activities, numbers reached, publications, products)

In 2010, several education programs were delivered, and a tri-fold brochure was created to introduce SoyPod DSS as a new management tool for making treatment decisions for soybean aphid. I collaborated with Dr. McCornack to create the publication. Two field day demonstrations with two sessions each (75 participants total) were delivered at the ISU Field Extension Education Laboratory, Boone, IA. In addition, one invited, out-of-state presentation (50 participants) was offered at the Joint Nebraska Cooperative Extension Association and University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Fall Conference, Kearny, NE. The first part of the program focused on learning how to use the features of SoyPod DSS, which included Speed Scouting sampling plan, a record-keeping field database, sampling interval, and treatment decisions. Participants gained knowledge on how to use this tool on a tablet or smartphone with internet access. The second part of the program was a hands-on demonstration in which participants sampled a field (virtual field for the Nebraska program) and made a treatment decision.

RESULTS (Outcomes:  specific changes that occurred in Learning, Actions, Conditions; how outcomes were measured)

Each participant had a hands-on experience with the SoyPod DSS demonstration, and learned how this new management tool could save them time. There was an overwhelmingly positive response to SoyPod DSS for the ease of use, application to the “real world” and a genuine time saving tool. There were several comments about not believing this is a FREE tool for anyone to use, and were excited about trying it out the next field season.

Public Value (now or future)
(Impact:  Who benefits beyond participants and how?  What conditions changed?)

Although most of the participants were not growers, they serve growers as important scouts for pest management issues. About 17% of Iowa growers and consultants use Speed Scouting regularly and SoyPod DSS will dramatically increase sampling proficiency and accuracy, as well as document historical management tactics for soybean aphid.

Major Partners or Collaborators

Dr. Brian McCornack, Kansas State University

Where story took place
(Region, campus, multi-regional)

Regional and multi-regional

Fiscal Year


Multi-state or Integrated (Ext + Res)


Funding Source

At this time, no funding is supporting this effort.


Soybean aphid, soybean, IPM, entomology


Last updated: July 1, 2011
Page maintained by Julie Honeick,