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Pests

What’s the deal with pest resistance?

Pests – insects, disease and weeds -- are a regular part of life. For large areas, our pest removal practices have included spraying safe pesticides or relying on plant genetics to manage them. But many pests can reproduce quickly and often, allowing them to evolve and develop tolerance to some of our easiest, cheapest and most effective management tools. Some pests are completely tolerant to some pesticides. When this occurs, it is called pest resistance, because they can now resist and survive a specific management tactic that previously controlled them.

Pest resistance is a natural process. However, when it comes to something as valuable as our food and when there’s no easy way to fight a pest, it can lead to yield reductions and increasing costs. Farmers, landowners, scientists, private businesses, and groups of individuals are finding ways to preserve our management tools, prevent pest resistance, and develop management strategies for already resistant pests. 

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What is the Iowa Pest Resistance Management Program?

The Iowa Pest Resistance Management Program is a grassroots, collaborative effort to protect Iowa crops from costly pest resistance that threatens our crop production and our state’s economy. The program is made up of individuals and groups representing all parts of the Iowa community, including farmers and landowners, small and national businesses, scientists, researchers and state regulators. Together, these groups and individuals have leveraged their resources, expertise and time to help inform the public about pest resistance, find new pest management strategies and encourage public support and adoption of these practices.

How can you get involved?

The Iowa Pest Resistance Management Program (IPRMP) was designed for you to get involved. The program features four pilot programs across the state that are working to combat various types of pest resistance. These include: Managing Western Corn Rootworm in Northeast Iowa; the Harrison County Pest Resistance Management Project in Southwest Iowa; Managing Soybean Aphid in Northwest Iowa; and Managing Herbicide-Resistant Waterhemp in Story County. To learn more about the IPRMP and the pilot programs, check out the Q&A here. To learn how you can lend your support or develop your own community project, please email isuipm@iastate.edu.

IPRMP Questions and Answers

Click here to learn more about the IPRMP. 

Version 1 of the IPRMP is here

IPRMP Introduction--Webinar Recording

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Integrated Crop Management Conference

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - 8:00am to Thursday, December 4, 2014 - 4:00pm

The Integrated Crop Management Conference offers over 30 different seminars and workshops focusing on the latest in crop production technology. Experts from Iowa and surrounding states will provide research updates and results in soil fertility, soil and water management, crop production and pest management. Attendees can choose from up to 5 topics each hour. This format allows you to customize your conference experience to meet your interests and CCA credit needs. Click HERE for more information. 

Fungicide Thoughts for 2014 Season

July 7, 2014

We will have a fair amount of corn tasseling shortly after the weekend – so fungicide application season is about here.


In talking with farmers and retailers the last week or so, based on all the rainfall and wet soils this is shaping up to be a big year for fungicide applications, so just a few thoughts for guys “on the fence” and trying to decide whether to spray or not.

Iowa Pest Resistance Management Plan Unveiled

January 30, 2017

Iowa Pest Resistance Management Plan logo


DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Associate Dean John Lawrence and Iowa farmer Larry Buss of Logan today announced the release of the Iowa Pest Resistance Management Plan. A video of the announcement is available here.


Version 1 of the IPRMP is an Iowa-specific plan that seeks to engage farmers on the issue of pest resistance management with the goal of keeping technology and tools such as pesticides, seed treatments and biotechnology products and native traits available and effective.

Managing White Mold in Soybean

July 7, 2014

Farmers in the Midwest may be concerned about white mold (also called Sclerotinia stem rot) in soybean this year. The disease, caused by the fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, is not common every year, but farmers who have battled the disease in the past will want to assess the risk of white mold development as soybeans approach flowering (growth stage R1 – plants have at least one open flower at any node).

Risk of Sudden Death Syndrome Increasing with Rains

July 7, 2014

One thing we have learned from outbreaks of sudden death syndrome (SDS) in years past is that this disease likes it wet. Last year we wrote about the risk of SDS  increasing with the early season rain. But at the end of the article we threw in one caveat – soybeans were planted very late in the season, which reduced the risk of SDS developing. And after we published the article, the rains essentially stopped. Fast forward to the end of the 2013 season -- we still had some SDS in parts of Iowa in 2013, but it was not as nearly as bad as it could have been.

Grasshopper Activity Observed

July 23, 2014

Grasshopper activity has been noted this week in Iowa. These insects feed on grasses and weeds, and can become field crops pests. In corn and soybean, feeding is frequently, but not always, restricted to field edges. When crop injury does occur, it usually is related to drought conditions due to a reduction in natural vegetation.

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