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Arkansas soybean producers spend significant amounts of money on annual input costs. 2015 UA Division of Agriculture crop enterprise budgets estimated irrigated soybean average operating expenses at $328.75 per acre across Roundup Ready, Liberty Link, and conventional systems. Commodity market price declines, such as have been seen in late 2015, increase the importance of input cost evaluations to maintain profitable returns. This study compares “automatic applications” made on crop phenology versus “treating as needed” systems where applications are made based on scouting for insect and disease thresholds. Seven large block trial locations were initiated in 2015 with five treatments utilizing insecticides, fungicides, combinations of products, and application system approaches. Partial budgeting methodology is employed to estimate economic outcome under each system. Cost, yield, and profitability measures are calculated for each treatment. The agronomic and economic research results will be used to evaluate overall profitability of current state extension recommendations including treatment threshold levels.


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