South Carolina: Mostly Waiting On Insects

Adult green stink bug.

The fungus that kills cotton aphids has been reported in southern latitudes, and I have seen and heard of some locally, so aphids should be feeling the wrath of that natural control soon.

I haven’t heard much about spider mites and suspect that the scattered thunderstorms have kept them beaten back a good bit.

Plant bugs have been mostly a no-show in our surveys across the state, but we a couple of fields did hit threshold, so they can be an issue in selected fields. You have to go scout to be sure.

Bollworm moths caught in pheromone traps have been very low at Edisto, and I have mentioned the low to moderate infestations of corn earworm in corn ears already, so I am not sure how significant of an issue bollworm will be this season. So far, it is looking like low pressure from bollworm.

I suspect that the large populations of stink bugs we observed in corn have been holding up there and are waiting for corn to dry down more before moving in droves to cotton.

I think there will be a big wave at some point, but we have some in cotton mating now and depositing egg masses. I saw second instars of southern green stink bug in cotton this week, so they are growing in numbers.

Charles Davis, county agent covering Calhoun and Richland Counties, reported finding “tons of aphids, a couple of immature tarnished plant bugs, plenty of hooded beetles and ladybug larvae. No stink bugs.”

Soybean Insects

Again, kudzu bugs remain the most numerous insect in our sampling this week, and we are picking up more stink bugs in the maturity groups with pods that were planted early. So, stink bugs know where to go to find the perfect setup for their offspring.

They ride “the wave” of crops by growth stage as the season progresses. I have yet to see significant populations of defoliating caterpillars (soybean looper, green cloverworm, velvetbean caterpillar) or pod-feeding insects (podworm, stink bugs).

Scouting Workshops

Your ag-focused county agents and I will be offering some in-field scouting workshops for cotton and soybean insects this summer. The trainings will be free to attend, start in the morning, include lunch and end shortly after that. Confirmed dates:

  • July 18 in Cameron.
  • July 25 at the Lowrys Community Center in Chester.

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