In an age when farming continues to go high tech, it was only a matter of time before scouting for soybean aphids went digital. This means you’ll no longer need to use paper sheets or keep track of your writing utensil in the field. A new UNL Extension Circular is a spreadsheet designed for use on mobile devices. The Soybean Aphid Speed Scouting Spreadsheet (EC1582) can be downloaded at http://www.ianrpubs.unl.edu/sendIt/ec1582.html.
Any mobile device capable of running an Excel spreadsheet can use it. That means you can track soybean aphid developments in your fields using your smart phone or tablet. The spreadsheet will allow for in-field decisions on soybean aphid management.
This decision-aid tool uses the speed scouting method for determining whether soybean aphids have reached the treatment threshold of 250 aphids per plant. Scouting this way relies on the number of "infested" plants rather than estimating the number of aphids on each plant. Plants are considered "infested" if there are 40 or more aphids on the plant. For each plant scouted, you indicate on the spreadsheet whether it did or did not have more than 40 aphids per plant. Depending on total reports for a given field, the spreadsheet will indicate whether you need to "Resample in 7-10 days," “Resample in 3-4 days,” "Sample 5 more plants," or "Treat, confirm in 3-4 days."
A soybean aphid speed scouting iPod application is in development.
Also see Soybean Aphid Scouting Recommended.