Soybean Defoliation CONTEST

In speaking with producers, it is obvious that soybean defoliation (aka, leaf removal), especially by Japanese beetle, irritates them. Maybe this year especially, as they don’t want any more things to go wrong with this already challenging year! For 30+ years, I have tried to convince folks that insect defoliation is almost always overestimated. The importance…understanding that soybean can withstand considerable feeding by insect pests without yield losses. Said another way, controlling the insects, when damage is below threshold, does not improve yield.

CONTEST: The following pictures are of one plant chosen at Purdue’s Diagnostic Training Center, at R2 growth stage. Please reply to me, via email, obe@purdue.edu the following:

  1. Total % plant defoliation (to the tenth, example, 99.9%)
  2. Whether or not treatment is justified (HINT, see Pest&Crop Issue 2019.17, July 12)
  3. Your name, and business/occupation should you choose

Fame and fortune! The winner will be recognized in next week’s Pest&Crop. I look forward to receiving your educated guesses!

 

Field view from where the CONTEST plant was pulled.

Field view from where the CONTEST plant was pulled.

 

CONTEST plant isolated from surrounding plants.

CONTEST plant isolated from surrounding plants.

 

Holding up the CONTEST plant to determine light penetration.

Holding up the CONTEST plant to determine light penetration.

 

Holding up the CONTEST plant to determine light penetration.

CONTEST plant leaves pressed and laid out for easier assessment.

 

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