Soybean Insect and Disease Update

We have soybeans in a wide range of stages right now from R2-R6 and a few scattered field that were planted real late.  Since we’re mostly in the reproductive stages now, our defoliation threshold has lowered to 15%.


Caterpillars are still active and hot spots of stink bugs are being reported.  The pods are susceptible to stinkbug damage until the start to turn yellow in the R7 stage, so we need to keep checking for them.  When soybeans get big, sweep netting is the easiest way to look for insects.  Here are the thresholds for stinkbugs and caterpillars for sweep nets.

Sweep thresholds

Soybean loopers and green cloverworms are what’s being found mostly and velvetbean caterpillars usually start showing up around this time of year, though few have been found so far.  Kudzu bug numbers have been very low this year, also.


Diseases have been very light this year all around.  Soybean rust is one disease that we are keeping an eye out but it has not been found in Georgia or South Carolina yet.  The closest reported case so far is in Florida, so there is no need for concern at this time.  If you think you’ve found soybean rust, please contact your local Clemson Extension agent.

For more scouting info and chemical recommendations, check out the soybean section of the SC Pest Management Handbook.

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