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Soybean Insects and Slug Feeding Alert

Emerging Beck's 4772FP Freedom Plus Soybeans in Cover Crop

Here is a side note on insect pressure found in newly emerged soybeans:

Insects while scouting fields seem to be more than normal. Defoliation rates on small soybeans also seem to be more than normal. If you are needing to apply a herbicide pass, this would be a good time to apply a cheap pyrethroid to knock these guys back until soybeans can get good foliar growth. A name brand product like Baythroid would be a 2.5 fl oz rate. Soybeans are most sensitive to yield loss when they are just emerging from pest feedings as they do not have much to lose to begin with.

Also, bear in mind that some of this may have come from slugs, especially where there is ground cover in no till situations. Insecticides do not work on slugs. Since salt will kill these slimy creatures, a fertilizer may be used.

  • Potash, apply 30-40 lb or more per acre. Other fertilizers can be used, but Potash will stay in the ground for future crops, even if not needed today.

  • UAN 32%, apply 10-15 gallons per acre. This option will burn the leaves, and may defoliate the plants. Do NOT use a herbicide with this option. I like this option the least, as the purpose of killing slugs is to keep leaf structure on the soybeans, and the treatment does more damage possibly than the pest.

And, with all of this using the above products require timing. The effectiveness of these practices will be predicated upon the slug crawling through the salt. A rain shower will dilute the salt enough to render the product useless. Typically, an application of dry product during the day before a clear night with heavy dew would be ideal. Or, an application of UAN in the evening into overnight hours would increase the likelihood of control.

Last week a lot of acres were probably planted on your farm. Keep an eye on these emerging plants in this adverse weather. We want all the plants this year we can get.

Finally, I have heard of a few accidents occurring this year. Please, be safe in the harried season we are in. Most importantly, we want all to return home safely every night. Good Luck!

People and works cited to create this article:

Alex Long, Beck's Hybrids agronomist for Missouri

Brian Buesing, with Burns Custom Spraying

Slugs in Soybeans, Chad Lee, Director, Grain and Forage Center of Excellence, University of Kentucky


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