Should You Ever Treat Thrips in Soybeans?

Angus Catchot, Extension Entomologist
By Angus Catchot, Extension Entomologist, Jeff Gore, Research and Extension Entomologist and Don Cook, Research Entomologist May 21, 2014 10:10 Updated

Should You Ever Treat Thrips in Soybeans?

I have had several folks asking if there is a time when thrips should be treated in soybeans. Ordinarily thrips are not a problem in soybeans.  Cotton and soybeans are completely different when it comes to how the plant can tolerate thrips.  Soybeans are not nearly as sensitive to thrips as cotton and therefore can tolerate high numbers of thrips without yield loss. Now for the big HOWEVER.  There are situations where I think a thrips spray in soybeans is completely justified and I have made the recommendation myself on several occasions over the years, but there are several conditions that have to come together for it to be justified (economically justified).  The first is that the plants are already stressed by another factor. This could be wet, dry, herbicide injury, cold weather, or whatever event that is stressing the crop in the absence of thrips.  Second, you see that the thrips are holding the plants back or stunting them, basically obvious injury from the thrips.  Third, there are numerous thrips present. If you meet these criteria I would definitely consider a treatment but this will likely be only on small numbers of acres compared to the actual crop acres we plant. Just in the last few days, it appears thrips are showing up in force. Remember, it is very uncommon to have to treat thrips in soybeans and rarely justified. Also, remember with all the pre herbicides we are using now in beans several of them cause injury that looks very similar to thrips injury so be careful blaming all crinkling an cupping on thrips. Call if you have any questions.

Thrips on Soybean

Thrips on Soybean

Thrips Injury on Soybean

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Angus Catchot, Extension Entomologist
By Angus Catchot, Extension Entomologist, Jeff Gore, Research and Extension Entomologist and Don Cook, Research Entomologist May 21, 2014 10:10 Updated
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1 Comment

  1. Dominic May 22, 20:44

    We have never seen this in NC and VA. Adds fuel to the fire that the Midsouth may need to treat seedling beans in contrast to the Southeast. Great article

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