Farmers may be optimistic that certain insects didn’t survive the winter of 2013 – 2014, but cold weather should never warrant a relaxed attitude towards pest management and scouting.
In the second episode of “Management Matters,” Michael Gray, Department of Crop Sciences at University of Illinois, predicts which insects survived the winter, which didn’t and how to scout this spring and summer.
- Some insects overwinter better than others and some do not overwinter at all; pest management plans will vary from season to season depending on winter weather.
- In 2014 farmers may see lower-than-average spring populations of bean leaf beetle and Japanese beetles due to the record cold winter.
- Soybean aphids are the pest to watch for year in and year out, especially in mild, moderate summers and in northern areas.
- Get brown marmorated stinkbugs, relatively new to Illinois, on your radar this season; it hosts in fruits, vegetables, corn and soybeans.
- In some cases, warm, humid weather can promote certain species of fungal pathogens that actually help to reduce insect populations.
- On the other hand, hot, dry weather can trigger infestations—especially two-spotted spider mites.
- Insect pressure can change quickly, so growers should scout every three to four days and at minimum once a week.
Growers can also review scouting guidelines, soybean insect control management recommendations and identification guides on the Insect Management Tools page at ILSoyAdvisor.com.