Soybean Pest Podcast
The Soybean Pest Podcast is alive and kicking again! Matt and Erin had a long winter's nap but started Season 9 with a good conversation about new students and research, Bt soybean in the U.S., some upcoming events and recent pest activity in Iowa.
Matt's latest F.I.T. (fun insect trivia) is related to the Little House on the Prairie.
Matt and Erin just got back from the Annual Entomological Society of America meeting in Denver and their brains are full! They summarize some of their favorite presentations and other highlights from the meeting. Specifically, Matt enjoyed a presentation by Cornell student Maxwell Helmberger who used entomopathogenic nematodes to manage grubs in turf. Maxwell has a YouTube channel with some fun animations!
Today, Matt and Erin take a major detour and talk about an art exhibit that features fantasy coffins. Matt visited with Eric Anang, an artist-in-residence at the University of Iowa. Erik's family is from Ghana and they have a tradition of building fantasy coffins designed to reflect unique personalities. He recently was interested in the decline of insects, particularly lightening bugs, in his native area and that sparked the idea for this exhibit. You can see the exhibit at the Blackbox Memorial Theater at U of I now and can hear Matt give a seminar on October 26.
Today, Matt and Erin cover a wide range of topics. First, there are two entomologists interviewing for ISU president: Sonny Ramaswamy and Wendy Wintersteen. But the conversation is quickly diverted into talking about why entomologists make good leaders. Matt has another F.I.T. that includes a reference to Hogwarts. Tom Saunders named a new parasitoid wasp species after Lucius Malfoy, a character in the Harry Potter series. The new wasp was named Lusius malfoyi. Erin asks Matt about fall nuisance invaders around Ames, including multicolored Asian lady beetles, minute pirate bugs, and brown lacewings. Erin gives a shout-out to an insect-related podcast, Arthropod, from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This interesting series goes in-depth on insects and closely related species (e.g., painted lady butterflies and brown recluse spiders). Lastly, they are spreading the word about a fundraiser for BugGuide - help them meet their goal of $15,000!
The long-awaited teaser is resolved in today's episode. Erin reveals she did get Lyme disease this summer. She recaps the experience and outlook for the future. There are 232 confirmed or probable cases of Lyme disease in Iowa this year, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. References to Lyric's tick paper can be found in the previous episode. Matt brings up another interesting F.I.T. (fun insect trivia) featuring two entomologists: Jeffrey Lockwood and C. V. Riley. Lockwood is a rangeland entomologist focused on grasshopper management, and an award-winning author and University of Wyoming professor of Natural Sciences and Humanities. He writes science and fiction books, including his latest crime novel called Poison Justice. Riley also studied grasshoppers but is most known as the Father of Classical Biocontrol. He was one of the first to practice biocontrol, introducing a beetle that was the natural enemy to a scale that was damaging the California citrus industry.
Matt and Erin were supposed to be in Savannah, GA for a soybean symposium this week. But due to Hurricane Irma, the conference was canceled and they created a bonus episode of random topics. Soybean is quickly maturing throughout Iowa and insects are making preparations for the winter. Matt summarized a last-minute soybean research symposium recapping some of the presentations planned for the Georgia gathering. Both Matt and Erin noticed a lot of wasp activity around human structures and Matt explained they lose their social structure this time of year. Erin thinks she might have Lyme disease and will update listeners on her progress the next episode (teaser!). ISU faculty member, Ryan Smith, shared the blacklegged tick is expanding range in Iowa and the proportion of infected ticks is increasing in Iowa (see this survey summary for more details). Dr. Smith also said there are 195 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in Iowa so far this year. Finally, Matt talks about another great F.I.T. of Ward Kimball, creator of Jiminy Cricket.
Matt and Erin talk briefly about resurging soybean aphid populations around northern Iowa. In some fields, aphid numbers have increased as fields reach full seed set. They also talk about 2 videos of potential interest to everyone. The first video shows off the extremely high numbers of mosquitoes in Texas due to Hurricane Harvey. The second video talks about the importance of Bt resistance management of insects. Finally, Matt shares a F.I.T. and art at Iowa State University.
Matt and Erin took a short podcasting break but are back to summarize late season soybean pest activity. Erin talks about a slight resurgence of soybean aphid populations in northern Iowa. Read more about treating at full seed set in a recent ICM Blog. Erin also recommends scouting in late August/early September for second-generation bean leaf beetles, as feeding injury to pods and seeds could be significant. Matt has noticed perhaps early field senescence in some commercial fields in Iowa. He also took a trip to Mississippi to see soybean production and learn more about pollinator protection. This podcast also features a F.I.T.!
It seems like a long time since the last episode and that's because it was! Matt and Erin are back to talk about pest updates in Iowa. Drought stress throughout much of the state has been ideal for twospotted spider mite. Erin reports Some injury has been observed in corn and soybean this summer. Treatments are going on now throughout some southern Iowa counties. In addition, soybean aphid continues to be an erratic pest. Some populations are building up in northern Iowa counties, but most fields are not reaching the economic threshold in July. Matt elaborates about high numbers of Japanese beetle and they talk about the use of pheromone traps as a management tool. Finally, Matt talks about a new Science research paper that has inconsistent data on the effect of neonicotinoid seed treatments on wild and managed bees in Europe.
Today, Erin is without her podcasting bestie, Matt. She summarizes the activity of a few field crop pests in Iowa. First, she mentions Japanese beetle is active in soybean now and will move to corn with the emergence of silks. There are also European corn borer egg masses and small larvae in non-Bt corn now. You can access a free publication to learn more about scouting and management of ECB. Erin also gives an update on thistle caterpillar and soybean aphid from the last episode - both pests are still active right now. Finally, she highlights potato leafhopper as an occasional pest of soybean and alfalfa. You can register for some upcoming demonstration events at FEEL for July 12 (Diagnostic Clinic) and July 13 (Management Clinic) right here.