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Agronomy Day 2007

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Soybean Insect Management: Everything But the Kitchen Sink

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Kevin Steffey Kevin L. Steffey
Professor and Extension
Entomology Specialist
Department of Crop Sciences
217-333-6652
ksteffey@illinois.edu

Invasive insect species pose a continuous threat to U.S. agriculture. Although the arrival of a significant agricultural pest in the U.S. is unwelcome, a positive outcome is that research and educational forces are marshaled against the threat. Such has been the case with research and educational activities focused on management of soybean aphids since its discovery in 2000. Entomologists throughout the Midwest have cooperated and continue to cooperate on numerous efforts to improve our understanding of the soybean aphid’s biology and ecology and to expand and refine the options for its management. Much of this cooperative effort has been generously supported by funding provided by state soybean associations, including the Illinois Soybean Association, and the North Central Soybean Research Program.

In last year’s (2006) Agronomy Day abstract, I wrote: “Ultimately, the combined research efforts of entomologists throughout the Midwest should result in a comprehensive, multi-tactic, and effective program of soybean aphid management with minimal impacts in the environment.” This statement seems to ring more true as each year passes. Numerous cooperative educational and research efforts were continued or initiated in 2007, and the potential for measurable impact from these efforts is significant.

Following is a partial list of educational and research activities that have focused on soybean aphids and their management in 2007:

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Soybean aphids
(photo courtesy of Gary Bretthauer)

Results from research efforts in 2007, if relevant, will be discussed, with emphasis on the potential benefits that will accrue from these efforts. We express our thanks to the Illinois Soybean Association and the North Central Soybean Research Program for their continued support of our research and educational efforts.tour atour a