Texas Grains: Armyworms Pull Together Big Flight In South Plains
Weekly fall armyworm pheromone trap captures continue to be at levels far, far above normal. The good news is that the numbers have been lower the last couple of days and the flight seems to be losing steam.
Lubbock County has the the highest captures, but Hale County (Gary Cross) and Bailey County (Haden Hadley) are reporting higher-than-normal numbers, as well.
Muleshoe reported over 700 moths per trap this week.
These moths will prefer to lay eggs on corn if they can find it. Their second choice is sorghum or pasture. Non-Bt corn should be scouted but I do not expect any of the fields to reach the treatment threshold of 30 percent of leaf tissue removed. All of the types of Bt corn currently sold will do a good job of killing fall armyworm larvae.
My biggest concern is the higher overall numbers of fall armyworms in the system. This could mean more yield loss in corn and sorghum down the road, but we will have to watch and wait.
Spider Mites Found
Blayne Reed, IPM Agent in Hale and Swisher Counties, and Dr. Ed Bynum, Extension Entomologist in Amarillo, are reporting finding the first colonies of spider mites on corn. Greg Cronholm, retired IPM Agent in Hale County, is also finding a few spider mites.
Uncommon Minor Pest of Corn
I encountered an unusual pest feeding in corn this week, Mozena obtusa, one of the leaf-footed bugs. No risk of economic loss from this insect, but I thought I would pass the sighting along, especially as it is very, very common on corn in Lubbock County. This insect is a plant feeder, but the literature says that it only feeds on mesquite. Well, the literature is a little short of being completely right on this one. The images below show the bug and the damage it does to corn. Again, this is not a threat to yield and I am only presenting it as a curiosity.
Source: Focus On South Plains Agriculture
The ICE cotton contracts took it on the chin this week, with Dec giving up 199 points on the week. Harvest pressure continues to weaken the Dec – Mar spread