Scientist studies effects of salt and stress on soybean insect pests

Frances Gould, Morgan, Johnny W.  |  8/14/2015 7:52:08 PM

Julien Beuzelin, LSU AgCenter entomologist, at the Dean Lee Research and Extension Center field day on July 9, 2015. Photo by Olivia McClure


LSU AgCenter entomologist Julien Beuzelin is in the second year of a study, being conducted at the Dean Lee Research and Extension Center in Alexandria, to see how irrigation and concentration of salts in soil affect soybean looper growth.

"Last year, in the greenhouse, the soybean loopers preferred the plants that were exposed to salt," Beuzelin said.

"What I really want to do is determine how managing for stress in the plant will impact management for insect pressure," he said.

Beuzelin also is working on reassessing the pest status of the three-cornered alfalfa hopper, one of the main insect pests in soybeans.

"Our research is showing that there is not much damage caused by the adults, but some damage from the nymphs can occur," Beuzelin said.

When these hoppers feed on young plants, they can kill the plants. But neighboring plants usually compensate for stand loss. However, potential yield losses associated with hopper feeding during soybean reproductive stages is a concern.

"We have not pinpointed the amount of yield loss that the insect causes from mid- to late-season infestations, so we will need further studies," Beuzelin said.
Johnny Morgan

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