Soybean aphids has quickly become one of the most damaging pests of soybeans in the Great Lakes Region, negatively impacting soybean yields and quality. There are numerous options for managing soybean aphid, ranging from aphid resistant soybean varieties, insecticides and predatory insects. These treatments focus solely on the field. However, soybean aphid requires buckthorn to overwinter. Buckthorn is a widely distributed, invasive shrub common in forests, woodlands and hedgerows.
Buckthorn control is not simple. Like mesquite or Chinese tallow, two well-known invasive plants, cutting the shrub/tree above the root crown just means you created a short shrub with vigorous, almost uncontrolled regrowth. Ultimate control of buckthorn will not be a one and done approach, rather it will require development of a strategic plan utilizing the most effective tactics for each situation. AKA: A war.
Soybean aphids primarily overwinter in buckthorn. So the question becomes are you supporting soybean aphids?
If you have buckthorn on your property, the answer becomes yes, which leads to get busy and control the buckthorn.
If you guessed a or b, it’s likely you know a thing or two about controlling soybean aphids. If you answered d, you’re one of those people who always answers all of the above. If you answered c, you’re either scratching your head and questioning why, or you’re familiar with University of Minnesota Extension Entomologist Bob Koch’s research on aphids and buckthorn and you attended a tour near Faribault, Minn., and learned how Jake Langeslag, owner of Goat Dispatch, uses goats to help control buckthorn and other terrestrial invasive species.