To excel as a crop scout in soybeans, the best tool of the trade is a sweep net. I find the sweep net a perfect tool for first detection of insects in soybeans--or alfalfa. In a few, quick minutes, a field can be swept and the contents examined. If the insect in question is found, say bean leaf beetles, then a more thorough process can be implemented to determine the number of insects per plant, length of row, etc. A sweep net is helpful for scouting bean leaf beetles and caterpillars in soybeans, and is absolutely essential for scouting potato leafhoppers in alfalfa. Sometimes it can be used to make the first detections of soybean aphids as small populations can be hard to find when searching for them visually.
Iowa State University
Rice, Marlin E., "If you scout soybeans, you need a net" (2007). Integrated Crop Management News. 1125.
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