Expand a category below to find pest-specific information and resources.
Additional and crop-specific pest management information is available on UMN Extension Crop Production.
The soybean aphid (SBA) is currently the most damaging insect pest of Minnesota soybeans. Potentially yield-limiting populations have occurred somewhere in the state since the SBA was first identified in the state during the late summer of 2000 in southeast Minnesota. The 2003 and 2008 infestations were particularly widespread and severe.
Our research explores SBA management techniques and technologies and looks to integrate existing and traditional pest management methods to mitigate economic yield losses from SBA (Visit Research Results to view the results of SBA insecticide efficacy studies in SW MN).
Below are some of the SBA resources developed for soybean growers in Minnesota:
Scouting for Soybean Aphid video
Late-Season Soybean Aphid Scouting video
Soybean Aphids Landing on Buckthorn video
The white grub larvae of several species of June beetles are sporadic pests of Minnesota crops including corn. Most species have multi-year life cycles. White grubs in corn production provides information on biology and management of these insects.
Corn rootworm, European corn borer and Bt
Bt corn with traits conferring resistance to corn rootworms (CRW) and European corn borer (ECB) offer growers a simple, seed-based solution to managing these pests. These traits have been far more effective than soil insecticides or seed treatments in protecting corn roots. Corn rootworms have developed resistance to many control tactics over the last 50 years including crop rotation, soil insecticides, and foliar insecticides. Populations of western and most recently northern corn have been found to be resistant to one or more Bt proteins.
Bt proteins have been more effective at controlling ECB than CRW and the widespread use of above-ground Bt traits has suppressed corn borer populations overall. Recently, resistance of some eastern Canadian ECB populations to one of the Bt proteins was documented. However, no populations of Bt-resistant Bt have been observed in Minnesota. Some resources on these two insects and management with Bt follow.
- Scouting for corn rootworm
- Reducing Bt corn acreage to cut production costs
- Reducing Bt-trait acres in 2021 Minnesota corn production? Implications for European corn borer
- Handy Bt Trait Table (from Texas A&M)
- European corn borer scouting guide (Excel spreadsheet)
Two-Spotted Spider Mites
Prolonged drought raises the threat of two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) outbreaks in soybeans and corn. Spider mite outbreaks are rare but have occurred more frequently in recent years (1988, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012). Farmers and their crop management advisors may want to read these resources from University of Minnesota Extension:
Neonicitinoid seed treatments are effective management tools for several seed and seedling insect pests of corn, soybean and other crops. However, most of these pests are very sporadic in occurrence and good stewardship of these crop production chemistries is important to to prevent environmental contamination and effects on non-pest species. The following multi-state publication addresses insect management with these insecticides.
UMN General Resources
- Applied Weed Science Research
- Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics
- Department of Entomology
- Department of Plant Pathology
- University of Minnesota Extension - Crop Production
- Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center
- Plant Disease Clinic - Multidisciplinary diagnostic laboratory that provides testing for: fungal, bacterial, viral, and other plant health conditions for commercial growers and the general public.
- VegEdge and FruitEdge - Sites dedicated to providing IPM information on all aspects of vegetable and fruit production in the Midwest.
Other Pest Management Resources
- Entomological Society of America
- Northern Plains IPM Guide- This guide provides current effective management options for insect and other pests and for plant pathogens affecting all major field crops grown in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas. Specific sections are dedicated to soybeans, corn, and home and garden pests.
- Insect Resistance Management Refuge Calculator - National Corn Growers Association joined forces with agribusiness to develop this next-generation tool that assists farmers in developing the right plan for refuge compliance.
- Moth Photographers Group - Picture ID guide for moths.
- BugGuide - ID and other insect information.
- Handy Bt trait table for corn production -This table can help producers avoid herbicide selection mistakes and surprises from non-covered insects.
- North Central IPM Center
- Weed Science Society of America
- International herbicide-resistant weed database
- American Phytopathological Society
- The SCN Coalition - Soybean cyst nematode information.
- Crop Protection Network - Plant disease information.
On-farm Research Guide
- UMN Extension On-farm Research Guide - developed by Bruce Potter and Paulo Pagliari. Advice on setting up on-farm studies and a spreadsheet to help analyze results.
- On-farm trial worksheet (This file will open as a Google Sheet by default. To download as an Excel spreadsheet, go to File > Download > Microsoft Excel)