Soybean Insect Research Information Center
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Photo of Soybean Pod Borer Larva
Soybean Pod Borer Larva
Photo by Charlie Helm

Illinois Natural History
Survey - Center for
Economic Entomology

University of Illinois at
1101 West Peabody
Drive Room 144
Urbana, Illinois 61801

Phone: 217-244-1274
Fax: 217-333-6784

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SIRIC was established in 1969 by the Illinois Natural History Survey's Center for Economic Entomology, and the Illinois Agricultural Research Station to compile the world's scientific and research literature of soybean-related arthropods, and to produce an electronic database for this literature. Printed copies of over 95% of the papers in the database are housed at the Center. This database and collection are intended to assist everyone in the soybean community with valuable information to protect the profitability of the crop.

A Front Line Defense
Soybean crops can always be threatened by outbreaks of new insect pests. SIRIC is a front line defense against this threat to soybean profitability. For example, the Soybean Pod Borer (photo at upper left) causes serious damage to soybeans in Japan and China. It could easily be carried to the U.S. inside imported seed, or on plants collected by researchers or growers. Perhaps it is only a matter of time before this pest invades U.S. fields. When an outbreak of new insect pests occurs, the information collected by SIRIC could save 2-5 years of research time that would otherwise be needed to respond to the problem! Yet, the cost of operating SIRIC in 1989 was only 0.001% of the value of the Illinois soybean crop.

Although SIRIC was closed in 1990, the Center was revitalized in 1997-1999 with support from the Illinois Soybean Checkoff Board and C-FAR. The database has been transported to a new computer platform and updated with new records representing the soybean arthropod literature published in the last decade. In the past, the SIRIC database was not accessible outside the Center, but now the database is publicly accessible for the first time, through this Web site.

SIRIC has a history of service to the soybean community. Prior to its closure in 1990, SIRIC provided assistance to researchers in the U.S. and abroad by performing custom searches of the in-house database, providing copies of published bibliographies and copies of documents in the collection, and by locating subject specialists to assist with specific questions. SIRIC also helped in training graduate students and researchers in the use of reference tools, and in the development of search strategies for literature surveys. While under the sponsorship of the International Soybean Program (INTSOY), SIRIC received over 500 requests per year for services, from over 70 countries.

SIRIC has published six bibliographies from its database, under the series title "The Literature of Arthropods Associated With Soybeans," each of which focuses on one soybean arthropod species. SIRIC has also published a 1984 directory of soybean entomologists, and the 1988, award-winning World Bibliography of Soybean Entomology, including over 5,000 entries.

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