Soybean Research Principal Investigator Profile – Stephen Biles

Stephen Biles, Integrated Pest Management Extension agent, Calhoun, Refugio and Victoria Counties in Texas for soybeans, as well as cotton, corn, grain sorghum and pastures

Why did you decide to pursue a career that includes soybean research?
I wanted to help farmers grow their crops in a more profitable manner.

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 am working on IPM projects for management of stink bugs in soybeans, including scouting techniques, economic thresholds and insecticide efficacy trials.

How has the soybean checkoff enhanced your ability to find answers to production problems for farmers?
Soybean checkoff funds have helped cover the costs of the field research projects, especially with helping cover field technician wages and travel costs.

Within your area of expertise, what are the top two or three general recommendations you would offer farmers to improve their management practices?
Scout fields for insect pests weekly. Treat pest populations when they exceed economic thresholds. Check after treatment to ensure the product applied performed as expected.

Within your area of expertise, what do you consider to be critical soybean research needs that can impact the profitability of farmers in the future?
Discovery of new insecticides for stink bug control is critical, especially red-banded stink bugs.