URBANA--The first confirmed sightings of active soybean aphids in Illinois during the 2001 growing season have been reported by scientists at the University of Illinois (U of I).

"Entomologists from our team went out on June 20 and found the aphids on soybean plants in seven counties," reports David Onstad, entomologist with the U of I's department of natural resources and environmental sciences.

Onstad notes that the numbers reported so far in northeastern Illinois are very low, ranging from one to 49 aphids per 30 plants in a sample.

"We consider those as low numbers, but it is an indication that the aphids have now moved into the soybean fields from the buckthorn plants, where they overwinter," Onstad says. "This finding confirms that the aphids have survived the winter in Illinois, and we expect the populations to build from this point onward."

This marks the first confirmed sighting this year of the aphids, which were discovered in large numbers in soybean fields near the end of last year's growing season.

Source: David Onstad, 217-333-6820