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Monitoring and scouting nips pests in the bud
Key soybean pests including soybean aphids, bean leaf beetles and spider mites continue to wreak havoc on Ontario fields, resulting in costly yield losses to producers. Since 2008, researchers have been monitoring pest and plant virus activities in fields across Ontario to keep tabs on key pests, and to monitor the emergence of any new invasive species.
“For three consecutive years, weekly monitoring of established fields across southern and eastern Ontario took place throughout the entire growing season, from the emergence of the crop right through to early-September,” says Tracey Baute, Field Crop Entomologist with the Ontario Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
Researchers performed full plant counts and sweep samples and the information was conveyed to growers via scouting maps.
They also collected information on the activities of natural enemies – providing producers a better idea of when natural enemies come in and therefore if and when producers may need to spray.
The project wrapped up this past summer. Now, Baute is encouraging producers to continue to do their own scouting.
“The effective monitoring of fields throughout the entire growing season is a proactive approach to pest management, allowing producers to make the best decisions in a timely fashion to limit yield losses,” says Baute.
Collaborating on this project was OMAFRA Field Crop Pathologist Albert Tenuta. Funding has been provided by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Grain Farmers of Ontario. •
Soybean lubricants get top marks on campus
Soy-based products – gas and diesel motor oils, fuel additives, chain saw and hydraulic oil – are now being used in 90 percent of the University of Guelph’s vehicle fleet.
Paul Cook, Manager of Transportation Services, experimented with soy-based products during a six- month pilot project last year. They passed the test, and now he’s continuing to use them.
“I’m pleased with their performance,” he says. “We originally tested two soybean motor oils and we’ve been investing in bio-based products ever since.”
Both oils tested proved to do as well or better than conventional petroleum-based products. The environmental benefit of the bio-based products is the biodegradable quality, so spills are not damaging to the ground.
Soy 20/20 President Jeff Schmalz hopes Guelph’s success with the products will kick start greater use among other institutions. An increased interest in bio-based products could mean new demand for Canadian farmers, he says, and the potential exists to use oil from new–to-Canada high oleic soybean varieties for these products. They soybeans will command a premium price for farmers.
All soy-based oils and lubricants used at the University of Guelph are supplied by DM’s
Bio-Based Fluid Supply Inc. of Bolton, Ontario.•
Research Roundup is provided by members of SPARK (Students Promoting Awareness of Research Knowledge) at the University of Guelph’s Office of Research. For more information, contact a SPARK writer at 519-824-4120, ext. 52667.