Biotech Updates

Reducing the Impact of Soybean Aphids in the U.S.

October 16, 2009

Soybean aphids have caused yield losses of 40 to 50 percent in the United States. Controlling them with insecticides is harmful to the beneficial insects and would lead to the build up of resistance against the insecticide. New aphid-resistant soybean varieties have been developed by Matthew O'Neal of Iowa State University to address this problem. The new varieties will be available for the first time in 2010. "Our research shows these varieties may reduce the number of insecticide applications needed to manage soybean aphids," O'Neal said.

The resistant plants will have fewer aphids compared to conventional plants, but growers shouldn't expect fields to be aphid-free. "Growers will still need to regularly scout fields to determine if aphid populations exceed the economic threshold and spray accordingly," he said. O'Neal and Erin Hodgson, an assistant professor and soybean entomologist with extension responsibilities, have also developed an Iowa State University Extension fact sheet that explains the development, use and limitations of the new aphid-resistant varieties.

For details, see the article at