By Ron Hammond and Andy Michel, Ohio State University Extension entomologists
Normally during this time we offer an up-date article as to our thoughts for soybean aphid in Ohio for the coming summer. We reported our initial thoughts last fall in the C.O.R.N. Newsletter, 2010-38 that we do expect to see some aphids this coming summer. If you remember, we saw extremely few aphids during 2010 except for the last few weeks of summer which is normal during an “off” year. While not seeding a lot of eggs on buckthorn, some were indeed found which suggests an “aphid” year coming up. Thus, we feel that Ohio will continue its two year cycle of very few if any aphids being found followed by low to moderate to even high populations somewhere in the state. But as we stated last fall and throughout the winter meetings, it is impossible to predict which regions of Ohio, if any, will experience outbreak conditions. There are many factors that will determine this, including environmental weather conditions (temperatures, rainfall, etc.) to the presence and effectiveness of biological control agents such as predators, parasitoid, and pathogens.
At this time, growers should just be aware that scouting for aphids will probably be more important this summer. There is nothing to suggest that any additional measures should be taken at this time. Another article in this newsletter offers a management tool, SoyPod DSS, that can assist with scouting for the soybean aphid that makes use of the Speed Scouting protocol along with a WEB-BASED program usable on smartphones and tablets.