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Soybean Pest Podcast

Soybean Research Podcast

Drs. Matt O’Neal and Erin Hodgson created a podcast to promote IPM concepts, like identification, sampling, economic thresholds, and insecticide efficacy. They also talk about updates on invasive pests and regulatory news, and translate new research relative to insects in agriculture.


Erin and Matt are back from a skipping a week. Erin shares a observations from around the state of a several different insect pest sightings, including japanese beetles, thistle caterpillars, and soybean aphids. This includes a discussion of Brian Lange's discovery of soybean aphids in north east Iowa. Erin also shares a first! Below is a link to the longer article about scouting for corn rootworm larvae.

Matt's been writing grants and a little out of it, but he took some time to challenge Erin and our listener with a Fun Insect Trivia. (Hint: its an insect).

Stay safe!




Erin and Matt talk about insects pests showing up in places other than soybeans, like alfalfa and the twin cities. Some are currently causing problems and others may be a problem in the future.

Aphids in alfalfa:

There are stalk borers on the move:

Want to learn more about soybean gall midge (of course you do):

Khapra beetle citing in MN:

In this episode, Matt and Erin quickly review current pest activity given slightly behind degree days in 2020. 

In this episode, Matt and Erin quickly review current pest activity given slightly behind degree days in 2020. 

Matt and Erin welcome a special guest in this episode - Ashley Dean. The conversation revolves around early-season pests, like grubs, and scouting reminders. Also, Ashley shares updates on her moth trapping network and corn rootworm trapping network for Iowa. 

Matt and Erin are back in the swing of podcasting after a long winter. But the pandemic means they can record the episode in their sweatpants! Matt provides an update on brown marmorated stink bug, an invasive species on the rise in Iowa and Japanese beetle activity. Erin gives a short recap of recent pest conditions in soybean, noting wireworms. Matt wraps up the conversation with a newly-designed F.I.T. 

Matt and Erin took a 9-month break, but they promised to post more regular podcasts this year with Season 11. Erin provides a brief summary of statewide pest activity, including bean leaf beetle, seedcorn maggot, and alfalfa weevils. The first painted lady butterflies were also noted in Iowa over the weekend. Lastly, Matt poses the latest F.I.T. and talks about an invasive insect into North America.

Today, Matt and Erin recap insect activity around Iowa. They also discuss implications of the dry weather for 2019. 

After a break, Matt and Erin get together for episode 3 in 2019. Erin mentioned a flash drought is expected this week if high temperatures continue throughout Iowa. This could have implications for pest management - slowing down soybean aphid but perhaps accelerating twospotted spider mite. Erin also highlights current pest activity in field crops, including corn rootworm and Japanese beetle. But they spent some time talking about the newest pest in Iowa, soybean gall midge. So many unanswered questions, but it appears this will be an economic soybean pest. Matt comes back to an older podcast episode where they reviewed the cancellation of sulfoxaflor insecticide. It was recently registered (again) by the EPA and will be labeled in soybean. This insecticide offers an alternative mode of action for soybean aphid.

In the second episode of season 10, Matt and Erin talk about recent planting conditions in Iowa and the midwest. It's behind for corn and beans, and for their research this summer, too. Matt explores recent cool, wet temps and the Drought Monitor. He poses a question...what's the opposite of a drought? Lastly, Matt has an interesting F.I.T. from Cleveland, OH this year. 

Matt and Erin are back and starting Season 10! Erin kicks off the episode by summarizing current pest activity for 2019. It's been a cool, wet spring and delayed planting will influence early-season pest activity. Specific updates:

Bean leaf beetle winter mortality was high. Seedcorn maggots are flying. Alfalfa weevils are active. Expected corn cutting dates from black cutworm are approaching. Soybean egg hatch is happening, most likely in northern Iowa, where most of the buckthorn is located. 

Matt talked about a new F.I.T. (fun insect trivia), where he highlights the mosquito trapping network at ISU. Dr. Ryan Smith coordinated a mosquito and tick surveillance program to learn more about activity and disease incidence around the state every summer. Learn more about his historical data on his website.

In the first episode of 2019, Matt and Erin wax philosophical about IPM. The conversation wanders around profitability, durability, and sustainability of corn and soybean farming in Iowa and beyond. Is now the time to think about re-establishing IPM into farm as new technologies emerge?

In the last episode of the year, Matt and Erin talk about midges in the news and interesting honey bee behavior. Here are links to some of the research Matt mentioned in his re-occurring F.I.T. segment:

Behavioral responses of honey bees to natural and synthetic xenobiotics in food. Liao et al. 2017

Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides. Kessler et al. 2015

NPR story about midges:“Scientists say miniature flies are a big worry for Antarctic island”

It's mid-September and the tenth episode of Season 9! Erin provides a brief update on the newest soybean pest in Iowa - soybean gall midge. Activity has slowed drastically since the last episode and is coordinated with quickly maturing fields in western Iowa. Matt traveled to Brazil for a soybean congress and gave some updates on new invasive in this large soybean-growing country. 

It's been a few weeks, but Matt and Erin have a new episode out today! Erin starts off by providing a statewide update on soybean pest populations in August. Good news is that most fields had low pest pressure in 2018. Matt shares his impressions of a recent court ruling that will ban chlorpyrifos use in the U.S. The episode title is a play off of Warren Zevon's song, "Lawyers, Guns and Money" from 1978. 

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.

This might be one of the best episodes yet, because Matt and Erin combine aphids with rock and roll. But first Erin gives a state update on pest activity that includes armyworms, leafhoppers, rootworm and bean leaf beetle. There haven't been any reports of soybean aphid in 2018 but immigration is expected soon. Matt is a friend of the FC Bugeaters and shares recent game activity from the midwest. The F.I.T. focused on an insect-themed game show tune and then they transition to a recently published article that hypothesizes AC/DC is noise pollution for insects. 


In this podcasting episode, Matt and Erin talk about a disagreement in insect ID. The false Japanese beetle often emerges before the true Japanese beetles and people mistakenly confuse the two species. Erin recently wrote about the timing of adult emergence of JB in ICM News and how to tell the difference between the two species in an ICM Blog post. By the way, we think Erin was right on this one even though Matt was super confident! Matt gives a quick summary of hexapods used as college team mascots (Thanks to fellow podcaster, Jonathan Larson at UNL, for the list!). Pollinator Fest is next weekend at Reiman Gardens. 

This podcasting episode provides a short recap of some early-season pests, like grubs, caterpillars and beetles. Matt is a fan of the Bug Eaters Nebraska soccer team, and lets everyone know their upcoming schedule.