The effects of transgenic herbicide-resistant soybean varieties and their corresponding weed management strategies on canopy insects were examined in studies at two locations in Iowa in 1997 and 1998. Weed management systems that allowed more weed escapes typically had higher insect population densities. However, systems with fewer weeds seemingly were preferred by potato leafhoppers. Bean leaf beetles and potato leafhoppers showed preferences for certain soybean varieties, but these effects were attributed to soybean plant height. These findings indicate that although the transgenic soybean varieties did not strongly affect insect populations, weed management systems can affect insect populations in soybean. However, this impact is likely related more to weed suppression effectiveness than to a direct effect of the herbicides on the insects.
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Vol. 93 • No. 5