Jeff Whitworth – Soybean Pests

(Conrad) Good morning and welcome to Farm Factor on AGam in Kansas. I’m your host Conrad Kabus. Kansas State Research and Extension recently held a series of soybean production schools that were offered in February of 2015 to provide in-depth training targeted for Kansas soybean producers. (Jeff) We’re here today at the K-State soybean school which I was fortunate to be invited to talk about insect pests of soybeans. And in Kansas we have primarily three insects that are… can be very devastating as far as yield goes. We have several pests that can cause concern because of the foliation on the leaves, and I call those indirect feeders. But we have three that primarily can and do feed on the marketable products, the pod and/or the seed inside the pod- that is the corn ear worm or sometimes called the soybean pod worm. The green stink bug or brown stink bug, there’s a couple of different species of stink bugs. Probably the most common in Kansas is the green stink bug and the bean leaf beetle adult. Those three can all feed on the pod itself in that case if they do, they will open up the seeds to desiccation and to disease or to just falling out and that impacts the marketable value very quickly. Or they can, in the case of the stink bugs, they will just feed right directly through the pod onto the seed where they suck the juice out of the seed and they leave no tell tale sign of their feeding, so most growers don’t even realize that they’re there until they harvest and there’s only a third or a half of the yield that they’re expecting. (Conrad) Producers should be careful in identification with pests and when they are sure they are know what it is, they should go out and sample these pests to find out when they first arrived in the soybean fields. (Jeff) If producers suspect that they have any of these soybean feeding insects in their field, they need to get out and sample, especially just as the pods are starting to set in the early reproductive stages. The best way to sample… there’s two different ways. Number one, you can get out with a sweep net, that’s an easy way. Get out and sweep sample your beans. And if you find any of the pests that you’re interested in, then you set that aside and you go out and you do what we call shake sampling, and that’s when where you take a one to three row foot of the plants and you shake them on the ground and you count the number of insects that fall out. This is really the only way to quantify the number of pests that are going to be feeding on the pods. The sweep sampling is easy because that will tell you when they are first there, when you first detect them, so you may do that two or three weeks before they actually arrive in the field. But once they arrive then you need to get out and do the shake sampling so that you can count how many are actually in each row foot of your beans. Anytime you decide to treat whether it’s agriculturally or structurally around your house it’s all about timing. Insecticides all work relatively well. The companies have spent many millions of dollars developing these insecticides, registering them and targeting certain pests. (Conrad) Thank you for watching this Farm Factor episode on soybean schools. For more of Farm Factor or if you want to view this program again, visit us on or you can like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. So have a good day, with good luck.

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