Soybeans are an extremely important and valuable part of Iowa agriculture. In 2006, over 10 million acres were planted--more than any other state. Our soybeans and their end-use products are shipped around the world. To stay competitive in a world market, Iowa soybean producers are always looking for innovative ways to increase yields while protecting the environment. During the last two decades, we have witnessed a switch to drilled or narrow-row plant spacing, an increase in acres planted with minimum tillage, and more producers planting herbicide-tolerant soybeans. But each year challenges to soybean production always loom on the horizon, or sometimes just across the fence, and these often include soybean pests. Weeds, soybean cyst nematodes, and other plant pathogens have plagued soybean producers for years. Seven years ago soybean aphids invaded the state, and now Asian soybean rust has been confirmed for the first time in Iowa. The pest complexity in soybeans creates a challenge for soybean growers, agronomists, and educators. To help with understanding and managing these challenges, numerous extension specialists at Iowa State University have collaborated to bring you this special issue, which highlights our most current information on soybean pest management.
We trust you will find the information in this special newsletter valuable in helping you or your clients understand soybean pests in Iowa and to reach your soybean production goals for 2007. We thank David Wright, Director of Contract Research and Strategic Initiatives, of the Iowa Soybean Association for financial support of this special soybean issue.
Marlin E. Rice, Executive Editor, and Keven Arrowsmith, Managing Editor
This article originally appeared on page 55 of the IC-498 (3) -- March 26, 2007 issue.