Date of this Version
Published in Neotropical Entomology 50 (2021), pp 5-20
Soybean is considered one of today’s most important crops. Planted on millions of hectares worldwide, the management of soybean pests usually requires large amounts of chemicals. However, a key component to meet the increasing demand for food due to the rapidly growing global population is protecting crops from pests while maintaining environmental quality through ecologically and economically sound integrated pest management (IPM) practices. Not only can IPM result in more profitable agriculture due to the reduction of pest control costs but also assures equitable, secure, sufficient, and stable flows of both food and ecosystem services. Despite those ecological and economic benefits, the vast areas of cultivated soybean as well as the convenience of spraying insecticides are encouraging the adoption of prophylactic pest control as a relatively inexpensive safeguard compared to IPM practices. Thus, in this forum, we discuss the reasons for soybean IPM not reaching its potential. We give examples of how we can revive this once successful pest management program with a focus on experiences in Brazil and the USA. We analyze IPM case studies to illustrate the need for growers to have easy and fast access to IPM information on its medium- and long-term benefits. Overall, this forum highlights the importance of IPM for agricultural sustainability including ecological and financial benefits.