As warmer weather continues, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) urges growers and applicators to use caution when spraying soybean fields to control aphids.

“Because soybean aphid populations can increase rapidly, growers should scout fields regularly,” said MDA inspection and enforcement manager John Peckham.

When growers determine it is necessary to spray for aphids, there are several factors that should be considered.

First, it’s a good idea to check for bee colonies in the area before spraying. Don’t apply insecticides when bees are foraging or present in nearby crops. Bees forage after sunrise and before sunset. When there are blooming weeds, bees may be present.

Second, read and follow all product labels. Some product labels for soybean aphid control have mandatory application setback restrictions for lakes, river and streams, or sensitive areas that affect humans.

Finally, Peckham said communication is an important aspect to a safe and prosperous growing season.

“Talk to your neighbors that have expressed concerns over spraying and give them advance notice,” he said.