Battling Major Pests in Soybean Crops

  • , by Agriplex India
  • 5 min reading time

Soybean, a nutritional powerhouse, is under constant threat from a variety of pests. These unwelcome guests can significantly reduce yields and impact your farm's profitability. But fear not, soybean warriors! By understanding the major pests and implementing effective management strategies, you can keep your crops healthy and your profits high.

1. Gram Pod Borer: Helicoverpa armigera

 Identification of the pest

  • Eggs: Spherical in shape and creamy white, laid singly
  • Larva: Shows colour variation from greenish to brown. It has dark brown-grey lines on the body with lateral white lines and also has dark and pale bands.
  • Pupa: Brown, occurs in soil, leaf, pod, and crop debris

Adult

  • Light pale brownish yellow stout moth.
  • The wings are olive green to pale brown with a dark brown circular spot in the center.
  • Hindwings are pale smoky white with a broad blackish outer margin.

Management

  • Deep summer ploughing
  • Install Pheromone Traps at a distance of 50 m @ 5 traps/ha for each insect pest.
  • Erect bird perches @ 50/ha.
  • Clip terminal shoots on 100 days of crop growth.
  • The setting of light traps (1 light trap/5 acre) to kill the moth population.
  • Dusting with Chlorpyriphos 1.5 % DP or fenvalerate 0.4% or Quinolphos 1.5% @ 25 to 30 kg/ha.
  • Spray with Chlorpyriphos 1.5 % DP @1200 ml/ha or Quinolphos 25 EC @ 1.0 lit/ha.

    2. Soybean Aphid: Aphids spp

    Symptoms of damage

    • They suck the plant sap from the stem, leaves, and pods which causes a reduction in yield.
    • The infested leaves are wilted or curled.
    • Plant stunting, reduced pod and seed counts, puckering, and yellowing of leaves.

    Identification of the pest

    • Winged adults: Have a black head and thorax.
    • Aphids:  Excrete honeydew on the surface of lower leaves.
    Management
    • A dusting of cow dung ash and spraying of  clay suspension as asphyxiants (in a small area and low incidence of sucking insects)  

      Spray 0.05 % Quinalphos 25 EC, oxydemeton methyl 25 EC, or Dimethoate 30 EC @ 2ml /lit at the crop age of 35-40 days and repeat after 15 days if needed

     3. Girdle beetle: Oberea (Obereopsis) brevis

    Symptoms of damage

    • Girdling of  stems and petioles
    • The inside of the stem is eaten by the larvae and a tunnel is formed inside the stem.
    • The leaves of the infected portion are unable to get the nutrients and are dried up.
    • In later stages, the plant is cut at about 15 to 25 cm above the ground

    Identification of the pest

    • Larva: White, a soft-bodied worm with a dark head.
    • Adult: The freshly emerged adult is yellow, red, and brown on the head, thorax, and bases of the elytra.

    Management

    • Deep summer ploughing.
    • Planting time on the onset of monsoon.
    • Optimum seed rate (70-100 kg/ha) should be used.
    • Intercropping with maize or sorghum should be avoided.
    • Crop rotation should be followed.
    • Avoid excess nitrogenous fertilizers.
    • Collect and destroy infested plant parts and egg masses.
    • Remove the infested plant parts at least once in 10 days and bury them in a compost pit to monitor and reduce the populations of girdle beetle
    • Apply phorate 10 G @ 10 kg/ha or carbofuran 3 G @ 30 kg/ha at the time of sowing.
    • One or two sprays of 0.03% Dimethoate 30 EC or 0.05% Quinalphos 25 EC or 0.05% methyl demeton 25 EC or 0.04% can check further damage.
    • Spray quinalphos 25 EC triazophos 40 EC @ 2 ml/lit. at the crop age of 30-35 days and repeal after 15-20 days (1000 l spray/ha).

    Additional Tips:

    • Plant Resistant Varieties: Soybean varieties bred with resistance to certain pests can be a valuable tool.
    • Crop Rotation: Breaking the pest life cycle by planting different crops in rotation disrupts their habitat and food source.

    By implementing these strategies, you can create a holistic Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan, safeguarding your soybean crops and ensuring a bountiful harvest. Remember, a healthy crop starts with a proactive approach to pest control!

    FAQ: Soybean Crop Pests and Management

    Q: What are the major pests that attack soybean crops?

    • Girdle Beetle: Chews through stems, causing wilting and stunted growth. Look for round holes in stems.
    • Lepidopteran Caterpillars (e.g., velvet bean caterpillar, soybean looper): Devour leaves, hindering plant growth and reducing yields.
    • Stink Bugs: Suck sap from developing pods, leading to shrunken and discolored soybeans.

    Q: How can I manage these pests in my soybean crops?

    • Cultural Practices: Deep plowing after harvest, planting at optimal times to avoid peak pest activity.
    • Monitoring: Regularly scout your fields to detect pest infestations early.
    • Biological Control: Introduce beneficial insects like ladybugs to control caterpillars naturally.
    • Insecticides (Last Resort): Use targeted applications based on pest identification and infestation severity. Follow recommended application rates and safety precautions.

    Q: Are there other preventative measures I can take?

    • Plant Resistant Varieties: Choose soybean varieties breed with resistance to specific pests.
    • Crop Rotation: Rotate crops to disrupt pest life cycles and deprive them of food sources.

    Q: Where can I learn more about soybean pest management?

    • Your local agricultural extension office is a great resource for information and guidance.
    • Reputable online sources from universities or agricultural organizations can provide detailed information on specific pests and management strategies.

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