Control bean leaf beetles now for more soybeans later

Scouting reports from South Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri and points in between are indicating that bean leaf beetles are a problem as soybean fields continue to emerge, says John Guion, senior product marketing manager for insecticides for Makhteshim Agan of North America (MANA).

"Bean leaf beetles have two in-season generations a year and can be present at any point during the growing season from emergence to pod maturity," noted Guion. "Bean pod mottle virus is often associated with these beetle populations, so that’s another reason to get them under control. Economic thresholds for early season treatment vary, but generally are three to five beetles per foot of row or one or more plants destroyed per foot of row.

"Every bushel of soybeans is worth so much now that it’s well worth the effort to prevent feeding damage by bean leaf beetles or other insects. Fortunately there are very effective and economical treatments that can be used for fast knock-down and good residual activity."

Insecticides recommended by the Cooperative Extension Service include a variety of active ingredients that will provide control of bean leaf beetles as well as other insect pests. Some can be added to the tank along with herbicides such as glyphosate to save an extra trip over the field, or can be combined for a wider spectrum of insect species and multiple modes of action.

"A very important factor is that several of the recommended active ingredients are post-patent, so they provide an opportunity to save money this year while still getting excellent results," said Guion.

• Lambda-cyhalothrin, the active ingredient in Silencer® insecticide, provides that fast knockdown growers need this time of year, plus residual control. Whether applied by ground or air, it is a highly advanced pyrethroid with both contact and ingestion activity.

• Esfenvalerate, the active in Adjourn™ insecticide, provides extended residual control and can be tank-mixed with many pre-emergence or post-emergence herbicides to save on fuel and equipment.

• Chlorpyrifos 4E AG remains a mainstay of insect control in soybeans and other crops. In addition to contact and ingestion activity, it has great "reach" into foliage because of its vapor action. Chlorpyrifos is an excellent tank partner for Silencer to double up modes of action and intensify knockdown and residual if scouting indicates insect populations are building rapidly.

• Acephate 90 Prill can be used as a stand-alone or with Chlorpyrifos, for example, for wider spectrum of control. For soybeans, Acephate 90 Prill also is labeled (except in California) for grasshoppers, thrips, stink bugs, soybean aphid, cabbage looper, Mexican bean beetle and other damaging insects.

Check the labels on each of these products to determine the best fit for the insect spectrum present or historically expected in soybean fields.

"These four active ingredients provide options to rotate and combine modes of action in ways that are appropriate for Integrated Pest Management of bean leaf beetles along with other damaging insects," said Guion. "Each is also an economical choice that can and should be used at full rates and with sufficient water for thorough coverage. When dealing with bean leaf beetle it doesn’t pay to shave rates and put soybean yields at risk."

For more information about bean leaf beetles, these products, or MANA, ask a local ag retailer or visit

About MANA Crop Protection Crop Protection

Makhteshim Agan of North America, Inc., (MANA), based in Raleigh, N.C., offers the broadest post-patent portfolio in the crop protection industry with more than 50 branded insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, plant growth regulators and harvest aids from over 40 active ingredients.

Supported by a solid heritage, global manufacturing expertise, best-in-class formulations, regulatory capabilities, extensive field research and an experienced sales and marketing team, the MANA portfolio of products continues to expand.

MANA is a North American subsidiary of Makhteshim Agan Industries, Ltd. (MAI) Israel, the global leader in the manufacturing and distribution of crop protection products. With 2005 sales over US$1.5 billion, MAI ranks seventh in global agrochemical companies. For more information, visit