sealPurdue News

January 23, 2002

'Crinkly beans' the latest wrinkles in soybean production

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Soybean plants can develop wrinkles. Unlike the human kind that comes with age, soybeans get theirs from chemical spray drift, diseases or infected insects.

Experts call the phenomenon "crinkly bean." The problem, a growing concern among Indiana soybean growers and researchers, will be discussed during the annual Purdue University Crop Management Workshops.

The daylong conferences delve into pesticide regulations, herbicide use, plant diseases, early planting considerations and other topics. Workshops are scheduled at five locations statewide from Jan. 28 to Feb. 1.

A soybean plant with crinkly bean will exhibit wrinkles on its canopy, giving the plant a sickly appearance. Usually only patches of a soybean field or individual plants come down with crinkly bean, not the entire field. Except in extreme cases, crinkly bean causes little or no yield loss.

Purdue Cooperative Extension Service specialists will approach crinkly bean from several perspectives at the workshops, said John Obermeyer, an Extension entomologist and workshop coordinator.

"We'll look at it from the agronomic aspect. Physiologically, what is causing it?" Obermeyer said. "Then a plant pathologist will look at it from the disease standpoint. Then entomologists will look at what pests may be vectoring this disease. There are several different disciplines crossing over to try to analyze this one problem that has been creeping up on Indiana soybeans in the last couple of years."

Determining how soybeans develop crinkly bean is a challenge, even for specialists. The problem has been linked to spray drift from residual corn herbicides, plant viruses and the bean leaf beetle, Obermeyer said.

"It has become more common as post-emergence treatment for soybeans has become commonplace the last few years," he said. "Seventy or 80 percent of soybeans now are getting post-emergence treatment."

Workshop attendees will take away other valuable information, as well, Obermeyer said.

"Pesticide rules and regulations are going to be covered," he said. "We'll cover it from the regulatory side and from the practical side – keeping yourself safe. There will be updates on pest status and pest control, whether it be through pesticides or some other type of control method."

Speakers include Purdue specialists from the departments of Agronomy, Botany and Plant Pathology and Entomology, and the Office of the Indiana State Chemist.

Workshops take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dates and locations include:

• Jan. 28, Knox – Knox Community Center, at the corner of Lake and Pearl streets.

• Jan. 29, Columbia City – Eagle's Nest Event Center, near the intersection of U.S. 30 and Ind. 205.

• Jan. 30, Columbus – Holiday Inn, at I-65 and Ind. 46.

• Jan. 31, Ferdinand – Ferdinand Community Center, on 18th Street.

• Feb. 1, West Lafayette – University Inn and Conference Center, at U.S. 52 and Cumberland Road.

Registration is $100 per person, which includes a copy of the 2001 edition of the Seed Corn Pest Management Manual for the Midwest; or $50 per person without the manual. Registration fees include other materials and lunch. Registration is limited, and preregistration is encouraged.

To register, call (765) 494-2758 or (800) 359-2968 ext. 92H.

Running concurrently with the crop workshops is a pesticide compliance "boot camp." Enrollment is limited to 20 people per location.

Commercial applicators attending the workshops are eligible for up to six Continuing Certification Hours. Certified Crop Advisors are eligible for as many as seven Continuing Education Units.

For more information about the workshops, call (765) 494-4563.

Writer: Steve Leer, (765) 494-8415;

Source: John Obermeyer, (765) 494-4563;

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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