Bean pod mottle virus (BPMV) is a management concern for soybean, Glycine max (L.), producers in the North Central states because it can cause yield loss and reduce seed quality by induction of seed coat mottling. The main vector of BPMV is the bean leaf beetle, Cerotoma trifurcata (Forster). An experiment was conducted in 2000 and 2001 at two locations in northwestern and central Iowa to test three insecticide treatments for suppression of bean leaf beetles, and subsequently, BPMV. Treatments of insecticide applications with lambda-cyhalothrin were 1) a single early-season application (23 g [AI]/ha) (2.5 oz/acre) at the VE–VC soybean developmental stage; 2) two early-season applications, the first the same as treatment 1 and a second at the same rate 9–13 d later; 3) a single early-season application the same as treatment 1, followed by a mid-season application (28 g [AI]/ha (3.2 oz/acre) at approximately R2 (flowering, near 15 July); and 4) an unsprayed control. Application of lambda-cyhalothrin after soybean emergence and again as first-generation bean leaf beetles emerged in northwestern Iowa in 2000 (treatment 3) significantly reduced beetle densities through mid-season, BPMV field incidence by 31.5%, and seed coat mottling by 31.2%, compared with the unsprayed control. Similar effects were measured at the same location when insecticide was applied twice at early season (treatment 2). Yield was 453.7 kg/ha (6.74 bu/acre) greater in treatment 2 and 525.20 kg/ha (7.80 bu/acre) greater in treatment 3 than in the unsprayed control at the northwestern site in 2000. At both locations in 2001 fewer treatment effects were observed, which was likely related to lower beetle populations in that year. Early-season insecticide sprays targeted at overwintered beetles on VC–VE reduced the initial population of vector insects and may have contributed to a lower first-generation population because of reduced overwintered beetle oviposition. In 1 year at one location there was a benefit to an additional mid-season insecticide spray, although effectiveness of spraying at this time could vary based on the magnitude of the vector population.
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Vol. 97 • No. 2