We are exploring how small patches of native, perennial vegetation (i.e., prairie) can increase the abundance and diversity of pollinators within corn and soybean. We observed honey bee colonies in Iowa lose weight beginning in August, when clover and soybean cease blooming. When colonies had access to a prairie from August to October, they were buffered from this late season decline.
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:
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”
The use of insecticides to control the soybean aphid has become a predominant management practice for growers. Before the confirmation of the soybean aphid in 2000, less than 0.1% of soybean was treated with insecticides. However, soybean aphid management has resulted in a 130-fold increase of insecticide applications in less than a decade. An estimated 1,400% increase of Iowa soybean acres were treated with a foliar insecticide in 2009 compared to 2000. Growers are also increasing the use of insecticidal seed treatments to control early-season establishment of insects on soybean.
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?
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:
- Bean leaf beetle winter mortality was high.
- Seedcorn maggots are flying.
- Alfalfa weevils are active.
- Expected corn cutting dates from black cutworm are approaching.
- Soybean egg hatch is happening, most likely in northern Iowa, where most of the buckthorn is located.
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!
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.
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.
Today, Matt and Erin recap insect activity around Iowa. They also discuss implications of the dry weather for 2019.