Soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura (Hemiptera: Aphididae), is one of the most damaging pests of soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merrill, in the midwestern United States and Canada. We compared three soybean aphid management techniques in three midwestern states (Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota) for a 3-yr period (2005-2007). Management techniques included an untreated control, an insecticidal seed treatment, an insecticide fungicide tank-mix applied at flowering (i.e., a prophylactic treatment), and an integrated pest management (IPM) treatment (i.e., an insecticide applied based on a weekly scouting and an economic threshold). In 2005 and 2007, multiple locations experienced aphid population levels that exceeded the economic threshold, resulting in the application of the IPM treatment. Regardless of the timing of the application, all insecticide treatments reduced aphid populations compared with the untreated, and all treatments protected yield as compared with the untreated. Treatment efficacy and cost data were combined to compute the probability of a positive economic return. The IPM treatment had the highest probability of cost effectiveness, compared with the prophylactic tank-mix of fungicide and insecticide. The probability of surpassing the gain threshold was highest in the IPM treatment, regardless of the scouting cost assigned to the treatment (ranging from $0.00 to $19.76/ha). Our study further confirms that a single insecticide application can enhance the profitability of soybean production at risk of a soybean aphid outbreak if used within an IPM based system.
Soybean aphid, Aphis glycines, has caused serious economic damage to soybean across the North Central US since its introduction to North America in 2000. The management of another invasive soybean pest, Asian soybean rust, Phakopsora pachyrhizi, using foliar fungicide applications has the potential to impact soybean aphid populations by suppressing beneficial fungal entomopathogens. In 2005 and 2006, we applied recommended soybean rust fungicide treatments, consisting of strobilurin and triazole fungicides, to small soybean plots in two locations to assess if such applications might suppress aphid fungal epizootics. In Lamberton, MN, in 2005, during the epizootic, fungicide-treated plots averaged 2.0+/-0.7% (mean+/-SE) disease prevalence while untreated plots averaged 14.2+/-5.6%. In 2007, we applied strobilurin and strobilurin-triazole mix fungicides to single-plant microplots either before or after release of Pandora neoaphidis, the most commonly observed aphid pathogen in 2005 and 2006. Treatments that contained a mixture of two active ingredients significantly lowered peak and cumulative aphid disease prevalence in both early and late reproductive stage soybeans indicating that fungicide mixtures used to manage soybean rust can negatively impact an aphid-specific fungal pathogen. However, no consistent soybean aphid population response was observed in these studies of low levels of aphid fungal infection.
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