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Spider Mites in Soybean

  • July 8, 2020

Spider mites often show up when it’s hot and dry outside. Given our current weather (and the promise of more heat to come), it’s a good time to review our scouting and management recommendations. Spider mites feed on a wide variety of plants, and usually enter soybean fields from grassy edges – especially right after the edges have been mowed, which causes the mites to seek out a new food source. (If you have the option,…

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2019 Applied Research Results, Field Crop Disease and Insect Management now available

  • January 7, 2020

The 2019 edition of our annual report on applied research in field crop disease and insect management can be downloaded at the following link: https://uofi.box.com/v/2019PestPathogenARB
 
Each year, University of Illinois plant pathologists and entomologists produce a summary of the applied research we have conducted to inform disease and insect management practices in Illinois. This information provides a non-biased, third-party evaluation of control tactics such as pesticides and resistant varieties for use in corn,…

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Insect monitoring in soybean: what to look for during pod fill

  • September 6, 2019

At this point in the season, most of our insect monitoring efforts are focused on soybean. There are several pests that can damage soybean during pod fill, and proper scouting is necessary to identify and, occasionally, control these insects. While not an exhaustive list, these are some of the insects and insect relatives to be on the lookout for as the growing season winds down.
Stink bugs. Stink bug (Fig. 1) feeding during pod fill (particularly R5- R6) can reduce soybean yield and quality.…

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Japanese Beetle Management Guidelines

  • July 10, 2019

Japanese beetles (Fig. 1) have been arriving throughout Illinois over the last couple of weeks, and are becoming pretty conspicuous in some areas. Our crops are well behind their usual progress when Japanese beetle emergence occurs, which could impact scouting and management decision making. Several of my colleagues recently wrote an in-depth article on the history, distribution and management of this pest1; you can read the full open-access article here. Some notes on management follow by crop:
Corn: Silk clipping is the primary concern with Japanese beetle infestations in corn.…

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Scouting for Early Season Pests in Corn and Soybean After a Late Start

  • June 7, 2019

It goes without saying that this spring has been a challenge. With extreme planting delays throughout the state, crop development is well behind normal expectations, while insect pest populations have continued to progress. In addition, the tight schedule we have faced has forced planting into less than ideal conditions in terms of both soil moisture and weed control, which can have consequences for insect pest management. There are a few pests in particular to target during early season scouting this season:
 …

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Wheat Insects – What to Watch for This Spring

  • April 19, 2019

Consider adding some insect scouting to your wheat management routine this spring if you are not doing so already. While damaging insect pest infestations are pretty sporadic in Illinois, missing one can be costly. The first step in managing these infestations is knowing what to look for.
 
Aphids
 
There are several species of aphids that infest wheat in Illinois, and they can be difficult to tell apart without careful examination (the figure captions below provide some tips on how to identify the different species;…

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Grape Colaspis in Corn and Soybean: a Pre-Season Primer

  • April 16, 2019

Grape colaspis is a common insect, but it only occasionally affects corn and soybean production in Illinois. However, 2018 was that rare year where “outbreak” levels of infestation occurred in parts of the state, resulting in stand reductions and, in some cases, replanting of damaged areas. Information can be tough to come by for an occasional pest like this one, but I will summarize what we know and what we should expect going forward.
 
Biology.…

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Field Performance of Seed Treatments and Soil Insecticides for Corn Rootworm Control

  • January 29, 2019

Authors: Nick Seiter and Joe Spencer
Producers across east-central Illinois have enjoyed low western corn rootworm pressure for several years, due to a combination of saturating rains during rootworm egg hatch and widespread use of Bt corn hybrids. Following a low point in the rootworm population in 2015, statewide monitoring of corn and soybean fields has documented a slow western corn rootworm population rebound in some areas.  Recent low corn pest abundance (combined with lower commodity prices) provides an opportunity to become reacquainted with rootworm monitoring and non-Bt options for their management.…

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Dectes Stem Borer and Lodged Soybeans

  • November 28, 2018

Many soybean growers have had problems with lodging at harvest this year. The primary culprit for this (as for many of our woes this fall) was the extended period of unfavorable weather that we have suffered. However, in parts of southern Illinois damage by the dectes stem borer contributed to this problem.
The adult dectes stem borer (Figure 1) is a “long-horned” beetle that can often be found in soybean and on other plants. The adult female chews a hole into the surface of the plant (usually at the petiole),…

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Soybean Gall Midge: New Pest of Soybean in Nearby States

  • September 4, 2018

Producers in Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota have been dealing with gall midges in soybean. This is a fly in the family Cecidomyiidae, which is the same family as the Hessian fly, sorghum midge, and several other agricultural pests. We have not confirmed any infestations of this insect in Illinois at this time; the closest confirmed, damaging infestations that I know of are in western Iowa. However, because so little is known about the biology of this insect,…

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