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Insect Management

Considerations for insecticides in a post chlorpyrifos world

Chlorpyrifos is an insecticide in the organophosphate (OP) (IRAC-1B) group that has been in use since 1965. To put that in perspective, in 1965 Mike Ditka, Dick Butkus, Doug Atkins, and Gale Sayers were all starters for the Chicago Bears. This insecticide interferes with nerve signaling by preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter molecule, in insects. Products with this chemistry (e.g., Cobalt, Lorsban, Stallion, numerous others) were used widely in food and grain crops due to the broad-spectrum insecticidal activity and highly translaminar activity of the chemical in plants. Unfortunately, some of the properties that made this [...]

By |December 27, 2021|

Considerations for Insecticide Use

For many in the agriculture industry, a soybean field is an amazing population of plants that convert sunlight energy and nutrients into a high volume output of oil and proteins. However, to insect populations, a soybean field is an amazing buffet! Regardless of what we plant and when we plant it, Mother Nature will always send a critter to feed on it. If food sources are good, many insect populations will flourish in population and cause crop injury. As the 2021 soybean crop enters R3-R4 and R5-R6, be on the look out for bean leaf beetles and stink bugs [...]

By |July 20, 2021|

Four Simple Steps to Minimize Pollinator Impact When Spraying

Through my lifelong experiences in agriculture and as a beekeeper, I have sometimes observed conflict between my fellow apiarists and row-crop farmers. For legitimate reasons, beekeepers are very protective of their apiaries, and farmers need crop protection products to battle pests in their fields.  These two goals can sometimes lead to conflict, with beekeepers worrying about the health of their colonies and farmers viewing managed beehives as an annoyance they are forced to consider when managing their crops. However, as in most conflicts, communication and education go a long way in helping row-crop farmers co-exist peaceably with their beekeeping [...]

By |June 4, 2021|

Insect Management: What did we learn in 2020, Recap of Summit Breakout

During the second session of Soybean Summit on February 17, I had the opportunity to learn from Dr. Nick Seiter, who presented “Insect Management: What did we learn in 2020?” If you were unable to attend this session, I would like to provide some insight on the topic. I hope after reading this blog you will be motivated to watch the full presentation here: Insect Management: What Did We Learn in 2020? - YouTube Dectes Stem Borer This insect has caught the eye of several farmers and agronomists, specifically in Southern Illinois.  Adults: Adults do not cause active damage [...]

By |March 2, 2021|

Online Pesticide Applicator Certification May Not Be As Hard As It Sounds

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) has had to adjust their pesticide applicator and operator training and exam process this year due to the pandemic, which means anyone who needs to do so for recertification must adjust as well. IDOA has limited in-person classes but is also offering an online option for the training and exam. My three-year certification was up for renewal on December 31, 2020 and I decided to do the training online instead of in-person. I received a letter from IDOA that had information about the University of Illinois Pesticide Safety Education Program training course and [...]

By |February 19, 2021|

University of Illinois Applied Research Results Now Available

University of Illinois researchers publish an annual report of applied research conducted on insect and disease management in soybean and corn. The 2020 report is now available for free download here. Highlights from the 2020 guide related to soybean management include the following: Surveys for soybean insects and diseases, including red crown rot, soybean gall midge (which was not found in Illinois in 2020), and the annual statewide survey of insect pests. Fungicide evaluations for control of frogeye leaf spot, white mold, and purple seed stain. Evaluations of seed treatments for control of Rhizoctonia root rot and soybean cyst [...]

By |February 9, 2021|

Will Bean Leaf Beetle populations in 2021 be a Bigger Issue?

In late August of 2020 I started to see a disturbing trend. Bean Leaf Beetle (BLB) populations were well above previous years. In East Central Illinois, we continued to monitor these populations, but they remained below any threshold worthy of action. With drought-like conditions, no rain in the forecast and sub $8.50 soybeans on the board of trade, many growers would not have been excited to make a late aerial application for a crop that was headed in the wrong direction. Unfortunately, many growers in geographies along the U.S. Route 24 and north of that, had no choice but [...]

By |February 5, 2021|

Actively Managing SCN Protects Yields

The SCN Coalition wants soybean growers and their advisors to consider the impacts soybean cyst nematode (SCN) can have on their bottom lines if left unmanaged. Developing a plan to actively manage SCN—the No. 1 yield-grabbing pathogen of the soybean crop in North America—protects soybean yields and profitability. SCN is the most damaging pathogen of the soybean crop for several reasons. In states like Illinois where SCN has been established for decades, it has become resistant to the most common source of resistance known as PI 88788. It’s been found in every county in Illinois and is estimated to [...]

By |November 24, 2020|
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