“We’re not likely to see bollworms until next week, but we need to pay close attention starting now. Look at the blooms, in the blooms and on the bloom tags, especially in two-gene cotton.
“Also, closely monitor for stink bugs in cotton near corn. Corn is drying down earlier, so stink bugs will be moving into cotton. Stink bugs are like heart disease – a silent killer. If you don’t pay attention, they’ll inflict significant damage.”
David Butcher, NC Ag Service, Inc., Pantego, North Carolina:
“The main moth flight is happening now, which is the normal timing. The flight isn’t heavy and no escapes are turning up. We are carefully scouting two-gene cotton. Stink bugs and plant bugs are lighter this year than in recent seasons. In cotton, we’re seeing fruit shed, but lower temperatures last week slowed those losses.
“In soybeans, fields range from just flowering to others that will be ready for harvest in about three weeks. Soybean podworms are not an issue in most areas, but treatments are going out where needed.
“Generally, we need widespread soaking rains. Rain can still help cotton and soybeans, although it’s too late for most of the corn.”
Ethan Carter, Regional Crop IPM, Marianna, Florida:
“Cotton is progressing very well, but I’m still amazed at how late specific fields are. One field last week was only at three true leaves. I hope it’s an early-maturing variety, but even at that, I don’t know if it will make it to maturity. We started late because of delays due to the hurricane last fall (Michael). All we really can do now is hope the first frost doesn’t come early.
“On the other end of the growth spectrum, our most advanced cotton is in the eighth week of bloom. Insects aren’t heavy. A good deal of our acreage is triple-stack cotton, and growers are happy with it.
“More velvetbean caterpillars are turning up in soybeans and peanuts. I detected redneck peanut worms in peanuts next to wooded areas. It’s nothing at high levels, but they’re present, plus I can find tattered leaves. When I dig around, I can find them.”
Sally Taylor, Virginia Tech Extension Entomologist, Tidewater REC:
“Our bollworm flight kicked up last week, but trap captures remain moderate. Egg counts reached threshold here and there, but only a few escaped worms are evident. Stink bug pressure varies by field.
“Pay attention to plant bugs until cutout and remember our populations usually peak in mid-August. The dynamics for plant bugs vary. You may be able to go a whole season without a plant bug spray, or you might be forced to spray six times. The sprays work, but as long as fresh plant material is available, they’ll be there. Plant bugs are ubiquitous in our environment, so the opportunity for re-infestation is always with us.
“Scout sorghum. We identified the first sugarcane aphid of the season last week, and they are here a little earlier than normal.”
Kevin Cotton, High Cotton Consultants, Leesburg, Georgia:
“We’re finding high numbers of moths, both corn earworm and budworm, and bollworm escapes are running 10% to 12% on the two-gene cotton. Stink bug pressure continues.
“Target spot is a concern on about 30% of my acres. It’s all about best management practices. Where growers carefully managed growth regulators and insects, their cotton looks alright. Some fields look exceptional where farmers planted in late April and early May and plants are 38 to 42 inches tall now. In those fields, target spot is at tolerable levels. Where growth got out of hand, target spot is worse, with more defoliation.