South Carolina Cotton, Soybeans: Be on Lookout for Fall Armyworms, Kudzu Bugs

Cotton Insects

We are still dealing with some level of spider mites, aphids, and true bugs (early stink bugs and some plant bugs), but we have a couple of new concerns this week. One is that higher than normal (or at least noticeable) feeding on boll bracts was noticed in cotton this week.

That observation coincided with counts of caterpillars in peanuts approaching 3 larvae per rowft that were mostly fall armyworm (FAW). So, be on the lookout in cotton for FAW. Our threshold is 10 FAW per 100 plants, checking blooms and bolls.

Another odd report this week came from a local producer and consultant. The photo here shows what leafminers can do to cotton leaves. This happens in cotton, but, this time, he was reporting that it was a little more widespread than it probably should have been and that it was not entirely confined to the lowest/oldest leaves on the plant (where this normally occurs).

I plan to check this out and report back next week.


Image by Jeremy Greene, Clemson University Click Image to Enlarge

Soybean Insects

There is not a lot of insect activity in soybeans, but, again, there are many more kudzu bugs moving into the crop, so watch for them, but don’t be too quick to spray for the adults. We need to wait on eggs to hatch to target the new generation. This insect has just two generations in soybeans, and we showed in research that targeting the immature stage was the most effective timing for managing this species. Our thresholds for treatment are 1 nymph per sweep when using a sweep net or when nymphs are easily found on most canopy observations.

The latest distribution for the kudzu bug in the southeastern USA can be viewed here. The map is updated regularly to always show the latest information.

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