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ARS Home » Plains Area » Brookings, South Dakota » Integrated Cropping Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #315714

Title: Preceding crop affects soybean aphid abundance and predator-prey dynamics in soybean

item Hesler, Louis

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/22/2017
Publication Date: 2/22/2017
Citation: Lundgren, J.G., Hesler, L.S., Anderson, R.L. 2017. Preceding crop affects soybean aphid abundance and predator-prey dynamics in soybean. Journal of Applied Entomology. doi:10.1111/jen.12395.

Interpretive Summary: Crop rotations change the soil biology and environment in ways that affect the subsequent crop. These changes can have important implications for pest management, but have never been tested against the soybean aphid (a major pest of soybeans). We evaluated whether aphids would perform equally well on soybeans preceded by spring wheat or an oat/pea mixture. Aphids on soybeans preceded by spring wheat were significantly reduced in Year 1, with peak aphid densities reduced by 40%. In the second year of study, oat-pea reduced aphid densities by 75% relative to spring wheat, which was statistically significant. Crop rotations may be a useful tool for aphid management, and more putative crops should be evaluated for their effects on aphid populations.

Technical Abstract: Crop rotations alter the soil environment and physiology of the subsequent crop in ways that may affect herbivore abundance. Soybean aphids are a consistent pest of soybean throughout North America, but little work has focused on how preceding crops may affect aphid populations. In a replicated experiment over three years, we examined how two preceding crops (spring wheat or an oat/pea mixture) affected seasonal soybean aphid pressure. In two of the three years, the crop planted before soybeans significantly reduced aphid densities, but the superior preceding crop for aphid suppression varied between years. Peak aphid populations were reduced by 40% in the first year by planting oat/pea before soybeans (aphids were above threshold this year), and by 75% year 2 by planting spring wheat before soybeans (aphids were fewer than 150 per plant in this years). Aphid densities were unaffected by preceding crop in the third year of study (aphids were at threshold in this year). Additional research on how crop rotations can be used as a tool to manage soybean aphids warrants further attention.