Soybean Pest Podcast

by Matt O'Neal and Erin Hodgson

Erin HodgsonMatt O'Neal

Drs. Matt O’Neal and Erin Hodgson created a podcast to promote IPM concepts, like identification, sampling, economic thresholds, and insecticide efficacy. They also talk about updates on invasive pests and regulatory news, and translate new research relative to insects in agriculture.

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After a break, Matt and Erin get together for episode 3 in 2019. Erin mentioned a flash drought is expected this week if high temperatures continue throughout Iowa. This could have implications for pest management - slowing down soybean aphid but perhaps accelerating twospotted spider mite. Erin also highlights current pest activity in field crops, including corn rootworm and Japanese beetle. But they spent some time talking about the newest pest in Iowa, soybean gall midge. So many unanswered questions, but it appears this will be an economic soybean pest. Matt comes back to an older podcast episode where they reviewed the cancellation of sulfoxaflor insecticide. It was recently registered (again) by the EPA and will be labeled in soybean. This insecticide offers an alternative mode of action for soybean aphid. Finally, Matt brings up a F.I.T. that is about isopods. 


In the second episode of season 10, Matt and Erin talk about recent planting conditions in Iowa and the midwest. It's behind for corn and beans, and for their research this summer, too. Matt explores recent cool, wet temps and the Drought Monitor. He poses a question...what's the opposite of a drought? Lastly, Matt has an interesting F.I.T. from Cleveland, OH this year. 


Matt and Erin are back and starting Season 10! Erin kicks off the episode by summarizing current pest activity for 2019. It's been a cool, wet spring and delayed planting will influence early-season pest activity. Specific updates:

Matt talked about a new F.I.T. (fun insect trivia), where he highlights the mosquito trapping network at ISU. Dr. Ryan Smith coordinated a mosquito and tick surveillance program to learn more about activity and disease incidence around the state every summer. Learn more about his historical data on his website.

Matt also had an opportunity to podcast with group of Iowa Youth who entered an NPR challenge. You can hear the episode where they talk about using insects for food here later this summer!

Upcoming events include Pollinator Fest at Reiman Gardens (22 June), pollinator workshop (25-26 July), and many field days throughout Iowa (stay tuned!). 



In the first episode of 2019, Matt and Erin wax philosophical about IPM. The conversation wanders around profitability, durability, and sustainability of corn and soybean farming in Iowa and beyond. Is now the time to think about re-establishing IPM into farm as new technologies emerge?


In the last episode of the year, Matt and Erin talk about midges in the news and interesting honey bee behavior. Here are links to some of the research Matt mentioned in his re-occurring F.I.T. segment:

Behavioral responses of honey bees to natural and synthetic xenobiotics in food. Liao et al. 2017

Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides. Kessler et al. 2015

NPR story about midges:“Scientists say miniature flies are a big worry for Antarctic island


It's mid-September and the tenth episode of Season 9! Erin provides a brief update on the newest soybean pest in Iowa - soybean gall midge. Activity has slowed drastically since the last episode and is coordinated with quickly maturing fields in western Iowa. Matt traveled to Brazil for a soybean congress and gave some updates on new invasive in this large soybean-growing country. 


It's been a few weeks, but Matt and Erin have a new episode out today! Erin starts off by providing a statewide update on soybean pest populations in August. Good news is that most fields had low pest pressure in 2018. Matt shares his impressions of a recent court ruling that will ban chlorpyrifos use in the U.S. The episode title is a play off of Warren Zevon's song, "Lawyers, Guns and Money" from 1978. 


This Soybean Pest Podcast episode is packed with good stuff! Matt starts off by sharing some positive data from USDA-NASS from Iowa. A recent report showed 45,000 honey bee colonies in Iowa, a 275% increase from 2017. Also, the number of in-season losses is down from last year. Erin talks about a new soybean pest that is showing up in western Iowa. The soybean gall midge can be a devastating stem-boring pest. She summarizes her observations in a recent ICM News article. Erin also notes aphid activity in increasing throughout northern Iowa - in corn and soybean. It's a good time to scout fields to check for aphids. Also, there is a newly-revised field guide for soybean aphid. Find the pdf and hardcopy versions at the Extension Store. Lastly, PFI is hosting a field day on September 6 near Marble Rock. Erin will share some information about host plant resistance for soybean aphid. Click here for more details. 


This might be one of the best episodes yet, because Matt and Erin combine aphids with rock and roll. But first Erin gives a state update on pest activity that includes armyworms, leafhoppers, rootworm and bean leaf beetle. There haven't been any reports of soybean aphid in 2018 but immigration is expected soon. Matt is a friend of the FC Bugeaters and shares recent game activity from the midwest. The F.I.T. focused on an insect-themed game show tune and then they transition to a recently published article that hypothesizes AC/DC is noise pollution for insects. 



In this podcasting episode, Matt and Erin talk about a disagreement in insect ID. The false Japanese beetle often emerges before the true Japanese beetles and people mistakenly confuse the two species. Erin recently wrote about the timing of adult emergence of JB in ICM News and how to tell the difference between the two species in an ICM Blog post. By the way, we think Erin was right on this one even though Matt was super confident! Matt gives a quick summary of hexapods used as college team mascots (Thanks to fellow podcaster, Jonathan Larson at UNL, for the list!). Pollinator Fest is next weekend at Reiman Gardens. 


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