Estimating the amount of defoliation in soybean caused by insects can be a frustrating, and very inexact, process. I find that many field scouts typically overestimate leaf injury, which leads to unnecessary insecticide applications. Leon Higley, editor of the Handbook of Soybean Insect Pests, writes, "Unlike many crop species, soybean has a remarkable capacity to withstand much insect injury without significant yield loss. It accomplishes this by both tolerating and compensating for injury.
Iowa State University
Rice, Marlin E., "Estimating soybean defoliation" (2002). Integrated Crop Management News. 1752.
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