Benjamin L Kolbe
Our extension program is led by Dr. Erin Hodgson, and Dr. O’Neal and many lab members also participate in programs throughout the year. We are focused on delivering research-based information to a variety of clientele. Our group serves farmers, crop consultants, agricultural professionals and other university/extension personnel. Most of our programs are within the state of Iowa, but we travel throughout the Midwest to deliver content.
Erin has Lyme disease
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.
Aphids are active. Midges, too?
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.
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.
Field crop pest updates
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).
Gosh, it's hot
It's unusually warm this February episode. Like Bugs Bunny cartoon said - Gosh, it's hot! Matt and Erin talk about accumulating degree days for the state so far in 2017. Northern counties have accumulated between 16-22 degree days, while southern counties have accumulated 50-53 degree days. Erin uses the ISU Agronomy Mesonet to estimate temperatures. Matt also shared that the Toth Lab is noticed honey bee foraging already this year. There may not be much to feed on right now, which is concerning to beekeepers. Matt also shared some information on pyramided host plant resistance options for farmers in Iowa. Finally, Erin encouraged new agronomists to attend the Crop Scout School in Ames on March 25.
Insecticides up for review
It's the first podcasting episode of 2017! Matt and Erin talk briefly about a few topics related to insecticides today. First, Erin recaps the findings of her insecticide resistance project from 2016. A field sprayed twice with a pyrethroid (bifenthrin) did not have efficacy against soybean aphid. She conducted an assay and discovered elevated resistance ratios for bifenthrin and lambda-cyhalothrin. Distinguishing insecticide group will become important for future growing seasons so farmers can prolong the efficacy of pyrethroids and organophosphates. Learn more about insecticide groups and resistance management at the IRAC website. Matt shared updates on pending EPA approvals of existing insecticides. Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate, had an open comment period that closed January 17, 2017; read more about the health risk assessment for chlorpyrifos. In addition, the EPA has four public comment dockets open now regarding pollinator-only risk assessments for the neonicotinoid insecticides clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran.
Erin and Matt are speaking at the ISU Crop Advantage Series this month. Find locations and registration details here. Erin is also speaking on a resistance management panel at the 2017 Iowa Soybean Research Conference on February 8, 2017.
Watch an IRAC video on how insecticide resistance happens!
Aphid resistance is our new reality
The podcast took a break while Matt was on vacation and Erin was on the extension circuit. But they're back and talking about recent pest activity in Iowa. First, Erin shares updates about treating for soybean aphid in northern Iowa. Populations were erratic, as usual, and some fields exceeded threshold in early- to mid-August. A few people noticed poor performance of bifenthrin, a pyrethroid, for soybean aphid. This isn't a huge surprise, given there are pyrethroid-resistant populations in southwestern and southcentral Minnesota in 2015 and 2016. It is important to assess insecticide efficacy and determine potential issues with soybean aphid. In general, soybean are approaching mid- to full seed set throughout Iowa and yield responses are not consistent when applied after full seed set.
In addition, Erin has noted some corn fields with abundant aphid populations. Some fields exceeded 1,000s per plant and were treated with aerial applications last week and this week. Economic thresholds for these pests are not well defined, but Erin has an ICM News article to take into consideration.
Matt and Erin will be at the 2016 Farm Progress Show near Boone, Iowa on August 30. Erin will be at the ISU Event Tent in the morning and have a presentation at 10am. Matt will be there in the afternoon - so stop by and see them!