It bugs, pun intended, Nick Seiter that during the summer months he can drive the whole length of the state of Illinois and never see anyone out with a sweep net counting insects.
“I would have to drive the state three, four, five times to see anybody with a sweep net out in a field actually looking for insect populations. The problem with not having that sweep net out there is that we don't quantify that pest population. Typically, we are walking through the field pointing and looking. There's a stink bug. There are some bean leaf beetles. There's some defoliation. But we are not getting a good picture of what that population is and that is what we need to do to make effective control decisions based on an economic threshold.”
Here are some things Nick Seiter, University of Illinois Extension Entomologist, hopes farmers will consider from the combine seat this fall. First, using a sweep net next summer. Secondly, just how much defoliation a soybean plant can take. Illinois Extension recommends not treating unless there is 20 percent defoliation after bloom. That's a lot and Seiter says there are more than a few "simply cosmetics" insecticide applications in the state because defoliation hasn't reached that level.