What could be easier than carrying crop protection in your pocket? With guides from the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), you can.

ISA, in collaboration with Iowa State University (ISU), has produced three helpful guides for producers: Soybean Disease & Pest Management Field Guide, Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) Management Field Guide and Aphid Management Field Guide. The guides fit in a shirt pocket, and hold up well in field/tractor conditions.

“They have a very durable design and can withstand the stress of having them roll around in the pickup or tractor,” says David Wright, ISA director of contract research. “The pages are laminated so they're moisture-proof.

“The guides have been designed to be user friendly,” Wright says. “Farmers can take them to the field and match what they see in the field to what's in the book. They've been designed as decision aides for producers and crop professionals.”

THE FIRST GUIDE printed was the disease and pest management piece, which covers general soybean production. It ran out of the first printing — 25,000 — in the first six months. Before reprint, more production information was added, says Wright. There are now plenty of copies available for producers.

Included in the disease and pest guide is information on general soybean production, pest management, diseases and insects. Color photos make the pests easy to identify.

“The disease and pest guide has charts and tables that are useful to many states outside of Iowa,” he says. “The book has been requested from producers/crop professionals in 14 other states and in Canada.”

ISA opted for guides on SCN and aphid “because those are two key pests causing major yield loss in our area,” says Wright. “Those were the areas of greatest need for producers. We would produce guides on other topics if they were needed.”

THE APHID GUIDE is quite specific to Iowa, but the next version coming out (next aphid season) will have more general information, he notes. It currently covers how to identify aphids, as well as how to manage them and information on insecticides.

Available as a companion to the aphid guide is a card called Speed Scouting Aphids. “It's a card to be used in the field as a one-time use for record keeping,” Wright says. “It's designed so you use one for each field. When requesting, multiple copies should be ordered.”

THE SCN GUIDE covers SCN biology, scouting, management, disease interactions and HG type tests.

All three guides are loaded with the most current science-based information from ISU and are funded by the soybean checkoff.

“These have really come full circle,” say Wright. “Producers contribute to the checkoff, and those dollars have been used to produce these guides, which will help them in production.”

The guides are free and are available online in PDF format, where you can download specific sections or the whole book. Go to www.iasoybeans.com/checkoff/productiontech.html. You can also order the guides from ISA (call 800-383-1423), and they are available at ISU.