Soybean Research Principal Investigator Profile – Jeremy Greene

Jeremy Greene, Professor of Entomology, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Clemson University

Why did you decide to pursue a career that includes soybean research?
I was originally hired to be the research and extension cotton entomologist at Clemson University in 2006, after retirements of several predecessors. I took on the additional soybean entomology responsibilities years ago when asked to cover that area also. I was delighted to also work in soybeans, as the crop is a preferred host by many species of insects, and it presented additional research and extension opportunities.

What research topic have you completed in the past or are working on now that could have or has had the most significant impact on soybean production?
I was part of a group of entomologists in the Southeast that tackled kudzu bug when it appeared in the United States for the first time. We hired and directed a couple of graduate students that published numerous papers about the kudzu bug, and we developed treatment thresholds for the new pest that have been broadly adopted across the region. I was proud to be part of the team that addressed that new problem for our producers. Our efforts and resulting unbiased recommendations saved our producers millions of dollars over several years. We learned and extended the information quickly. We need public entomologists at universities to address invasive species when they appear. 

How has the soybean checkoff enhanced your ability to find answers to production problems for farmers?
The funding for soybean research is critical to our efforts to stay on top of insect problems in soybeans. Big grants are difficult to obtain, so the regular funding from the soybean checkoff allows us to continue efforts annually on addressing issues with insects. If I didn’t receive support each year, our ability to conduct entomological research for our farmers would be severely hindered. The support is needed and appreciated.

Within your area of expertise, what are the top two or three general recommendations you would offer farmers to improve their management practices?

  1. Use integrated pest management, or IPM, strategies. An integrated approach is best. Before farmers spray insecticide for chemical control, try other strategies such as cultural control, biological control, physical control and others. Often, these strategies can reduce the risk of damage from insects and potentially save money on insecticide use when chemical control is needed as a last resort.
  2. Do not spray insecticides unless needed — use recommended treatment thresholds.
  3. When it is time to spray an insecticide, make sure you are using one from the correct class of chemistry, or mode of action.

Within your area of expertise, what do you consider to be critical soybean research needs that can impact the profitability of famers in the future?
Research on refining treatment thresholds is essential to improving profitability for our producers.

SRIN articles:

Low Insect Pressure Trials Reinforce Value of Thresholds