|Soybean aphid biological control|
Your Soybean Checkoff.
|Soybean aphid colony
Photo credit: Thelma Heidel-Baker
|NCSRP Soybean Aphid Field Guide.
|See Soybean aphid-resistant soybean varieties for Iowa 2013. (pdf)|
The soybean aphid (Aphis glycines) is the only aphid in North America able to develop large colonies on soybeans. It was first identified as a pest in North America in 2000. Since then, it has established itself as the most significant soybean pest in the north-central region.
When these tiny, sap-sucking insects are present in large numbers (several hundred per plant), their feeding can impact plant growth and cause stunting, leaf yellowing, reduced pod set, and reduced seed size and quality.
The risk of yield loss is greatest when aphid populations peak during the R1-to-R4 growth stages. During these stages, blooms and young pods are most suseptible to stress.
Damage from aphid feeding also increases when growing conditions are less than optimum.
Present and future tools to manage soybean aphids
Management of the soybean aphid is an active area of research in the north- central region. Growers now have an extensive toolbox of strategies to work with, including
Host plant resistant genes for soybean aphid are prefixed with “Rag,” which is an abbreviation for “Resistant Aphis glycines.” These soybeans use two forms of resistance - antibiosis and antixenosis to reduce damage from soybean aphid feeding. Rag1 and Rag2 seed are commercially available in limited quality and for select maturity groups.