Field Crops

Resources that can help agricultural professionals manage insect populations in Pennsylvania's field and forage crops.

Extension Resources Provided by Extension Specialist John Tooker.

Dr. Tooker is a member of Penn State Extension’s Crop Management Extension Team

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With changes in crop value and input costs, the economic threshold of soybean aphid has been challenged, so a group of entomologists in the Northern U.S., and led by Rob Koch at University of Minnesota, collaborated to produce this publication to better justify the value of scouting and application of foliar insecticides based on an economic threshold of 250 aphids per plant. This review explains why this ET remains valid for soybean aphid management.

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This publication reviews the current research regarding the efficacy of these neonicotinoid seed treatments, their non-target effects, and the potential role for neonicotinoid seed treatments in soybean production.

A slug eating soybean

No-till farming benefits field and forage crop production by reducing soil erosion, conserving water, improving soil health, and reducing fuel and labor costs.

Since 2012, The Pennsylvania Soybean Promotion Board has funded a Soybean Sentinel Plot Program, which is being managed by The Dept. of Entomology at Penn State. In this effort, Penn State Extension Educators are regularly scouting twenty or so ‘typical’ soybean fields in 15-20 counties across the state, reporting the populations of plant pathogens and insect pests that they find. Our expectation is that growers will use our reports to know what insects are likely to be active when they scout their own fields. During the growing season, we report the results weekly via Field Crop News, the most recent articles of which are posted to the right.

Insect pest fact sheets that affect field crops and stored grains

Figure 1. Lodged corn seen from a distance.

For the past few years, folks in Pennsylvania have heard reports from midwestern states of continuous corn growers struggling to control populations of western corn rootworms that developed resistance to some Bt corn varieties. Thus far, this problem has occurred elsewhere, with the closest fields with suspected resistance being found in central Michigan and New York north of Ithaca. Unfortunately, this problem may now have found a home in Pennsylvania.