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Aphid season around the corner for growers

Growers can no longer afford to treat soybean aphids as an "every other year" phenomenon, since there are regions with localized outbreaks that can challenge growers every year -even in Ontario and Manitoba. This particular report comes from Dr. Kevin Steffey at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

April 14, 2009  By University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

April 10, 2009

Soybean aphid infestations in recent years indicate that growers across much of the bean belt should be prepared for managing the menacing pests. A complete integrated pest management program should be considered if infestations attack your farm.

This aphid has been confirmed by USDA in Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin and in the Canadian provinces of Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba. 


Soybean aphids broke their every-other-year cycle of outbreaks in the Midwest in 2008, after most widespread outbreaks have occurred in odd-numbered years since the insect attacked U.S. fields in 2000. Regional and localized outbreaks also occurred in even-number years. In 2008, however, the outbreak was widespread and economically significant, especially in the northern Midwest (northern Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota).

Although the outbreak was less severe in Illinois, populations of soybean aphids reached economically threatening numbers in many northern counties late in the season (late August and early September), says the University of Illinois Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program.

The situation in 2008 leaves many wondering what will happen in 2009. We have often relied on the numbers of winged soybean aphids captured in suction traps in the fall to make broad predictions about the potential for outbreaks during the following year. Roughly speaking, large numbers of aphids captured in the fall of one year have suggested a good potential for an outbreak the following year.

Conversely, small numbers of aphids captured in the fall of one year suggested little potential for a widespread outbreak the following year. Captures of winged soybean aphids in a network of 42 suction traps in the Midwest can be viewed at the North Central IPM Center "Regional Soybean Aphid Suction Trap Network."

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