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COMMODITY NEWS

Online insect forecast tool adds soybean aphids to roster of pests monitored throughout season

5/1/2014 at 12:40 p.m.


From Monsanto:

ST. LOUIS – Last year, growers across the Midwest utilized the innovative insect forecast tool at insectforecast.com to help predict migration patterns of corn earworm, western bean cutworm and corn rootworms. This year, users additionally will be able to monitor soybean aphids, a pest that can significantly damage a crop and reduce yield if not dealt with effectively.

“Now insectforecast.com is the single-stop source for finding out about the latest migration patterns and research for soybean aphids along with other key pests,” says Tony White, soybean product development manager for Genuity. “It’s a fast, reliable way for growers to guard their crops against infestations and learn about helpful ideas for better insect protection for specific regions.”

The online insect forecast tool was developed by climatologist and meteorologist Mike Sandstrom, to help farmers understand their current pest pressure and make more accurate predictions of future migration. Due to daily monitoring of insect traps combined with weather patterns, the insect forecast tool is able to provide forecasts up to five days in advance.

“The process begins with our scientists monitoring insect populations and migration patterns across major crop production regions for several years,” says Sandstrom. “By combining that data with information about current weather trends, soil temperatures, specific geographies and other factors, insectforecast.com can accurately predict the timing, location and severity of pest invasions for soybean aphids and other pests.”

“When conditions are favorable, aphids can reproduce very quickly on soybeans, potentially doubling their population in two to three days and producing up to 18 generations on soybeans per season,” says White. “The insect forecast tool, in addition to regular scouting once or twice a week, is crucial for determining aphid population densities, which will dictate when to apply chemical control.”

As farmers across the Midwest continue to battle above- and below-ground corn insect pests year after year, a comprehensive integrated pest management approach is key to maximizing yield potential, especially in corn-on-corn environments. Adding soybean aphid monitoring is another way to help soybean farmers manage the pests in their fields. The tool helps both corn and soybean farmers understand current pest pressures and make more accurate predictions for the following year.

Soybean and corn farmers can sign up at www.insectforecast.com to receive email alerts from March through September to learn when these insects pose a risk in their areas. Farmers can log on to learn when soybean aphids are on the move, corn rootworm larvae are hatching, and to track the migration and moth flights of two damaging above-ground insects, corn earworm and western bean cutworm. With online and mobile access, this useful tool is designed with today’s farmer in mind.

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