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Summary: Neonicotinoid seed treatments for soybeans have become a common practice, but the need for their use is limited while the non-target effects can be costly. This presentation will help consultants, growers, and other practitioners in any region of the U.S. where soybeans are produced to make informed decisions about using neonicotinoid seed treatments in the context of risks for greater spider mite numbers following use of these insecticides especially in the event of drought. Spider mites can pose a severe threat to soybeans, especially in dry conditions, and caused significant yield losses to soybean production in the past. Specifically, I present short background information on the use of neonicotinoid insecticides and propensity for spider mite outbreaks documented in other systems. I discuss our field and greenhouse experiments that tested the effects of seed and foliar applications of neonicotinoid insecticides on spider mite populations. I also include data on the risk for high spider mite abundance when plants are exposed to drought and neonicotinoid seed treatments. By the end of this presentation, the audience will be familiar with the risk factors for spider mite outbreaks in soybeans and will be able make appropriate decisions about pesticide applications.
United Soybean Board (USB) farmer-leaders develop and maintain partnerships with U.S. land grant universities and U.S. ag-focused research organizations such as the Plant Management Network to increase the transfer of checkoff-funded applied and practical production research information to U.S. soybean farmers. USB neither recommends nor discourages the implementation of any advice contained herein, and is not liable for the use or misuse of the information provided.