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.
The two most important pests that reduce soybean yield (nematodes and aphids) are evolving, becoming resistant to commonly used pest management tools. This workshop will provide research-based, sustainable pest management recommendations for the control of soybean cyst nematode and soybean aphid. Information provided will include updates on the status of resistant pest populations in Iowa and hands-on demonstrations of sampling and managing both pests.
AMES, Iowa — A new staff member at Iowa State University will coordinate day-to-day activities of a statewide effort to help Iowa farmers address pest resistance in their fields.
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.
But a new problem is emerging – slowly but surely – as the soybean cyst nematode (SCN) becomes resistant to the resistance. Today, Greg Tylka said the data show SCN is found in 70% to 75% of Iowa’s fields, with an annual yield reduction ranging from 5% to 50%, depending on the level of infestation and the weather.