LSU researchers studying soybean pest-control methods

Entomologists at the Louisiana State University (LSU) AgCenter in Baton Rouge recently said that they have launched a project to compare the tools crop consultants and farmers are using to control pests in soybeans, to determine if newer methods are currently available or will be shortly.

AgCenter entomologist David Kerns said his group wants to learn how well current tools work for particular pests and how to utilize them in an integrated system to maximize profits.

“There is a large complex of insects that affect soybeans,” Kerns said. “We really look at everything that we come in contact with in that given year.”

For instance, after a particularly cold winter, red-banded stinkbugs will not be numerous, and the stinkbug complex will shift to brown- and green-stink bugs.

“In 2014, fall armyworms were a big problem in many areas,” Kerns said. “The problem was so bad in some areas that one of my extension colleagues called it an ’armyworm-a-geddon.’ As applied scientists, we try to be flexible about the questions growers and consultants have at a given time and how our research may help to address them.”

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