No. 6 Article 2/April 29, 2005

Quick Status of Soybean Aphids

Entomologists in other midwestern states have indicated finding some soybean aphids on Rhamnus (buckthorn) plants this spring, so I thought an update for Illinois was in order. Dr. David Voegtlin (Illinois Natural History Survey) and Dr. Bob O'Neil (Purdue University) spent 3 days in northern Illinois surveying Rhamnus for soybean aphids. They found "many colonies in the western (Quad Cities area) and central (Rockford area) parts of the state but no aphids in the more eastern areas (Kane and Kendall counties)." They believe that the second generation is under way, but they found no alates (winged aphids). So, as a follow-up to the extremely large numbers of soybean aphids captured in suction traps in Illinois in the fall of 2004, these early observations don't tell us much yet. However, we know that the pest is active right now, and it's only a matter of time before it begins to leave buckthorn to fly to soybean fields. You can bet that we will keep our eyes on soybean aphids early in the soybean growing season.--Kevin Steffey

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