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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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SCN and Soybean Aphid Resistance Management Workshop

Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 8:30am to 4:15pm

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.   

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.

SCN resistance for long-term SCN Management

Monica Pennewitt, Iowa State University graduate student, discusses her research on soybean cyst nematode.The soybean cyst nematode (SCN) or Heterodera glycines is the most damaging pathogen to soybean production in North America. Current annual yield losses are estimated at more than $1.2 billion.Though SCN-resistant soybean varieties are available to minimize yield loss, producers are faced with limited options for rotation once virulent SCN populations develop in their fields.