South Carolina Cotton: Still In The “Stink Bug Month”

Stink bug in cotton. Photo: Kate Harrell, County Extension Agent- Integrated Pest Management

Jay Crouch, county AG agent covering Newberry County and much of the Upstate, reported that he is “starting to find fungus in kudzu bugs in soybeans. Everything else as expected this time of the year.”

James Thomas, local consultant, reported picking up velvetbean caterpillars and some small fall armyworms in peanuts almost a month earlier than normal.

Mostly, people report that insects are quiet in cotton and soybeans…just routine sprays for stink bugs, at this point.

Cotton Insects

August is what I call “stink bug month” in cotton. We should be all about keeping stink bugs under control in cotton right now. I am seeing more spider mites and am keeping an eye on them in spots.

Bollworm remains at low levels in my pheromone traps (see chart later in newsletter), and few moths or larvae can be found in the field. Stink bugs should be the main focus in cotton now, for sure. I hope folks know what week of bloom each field is in and that they have been following our dynamic boll injury threshold for stink bugs

Soybean Insects

Kudzu bugs, stink bugs and grasshoppers remain the major groups of insects in soybeans right now, but I did see some fresh caterpillars (a mix of green cloverworms and soybean loopers) in recent sampling, so those migratory defoliators will likely be an issue for many acres soon. Watch defoliation levels, and be able to identify the species causing defoliation, as insecticide choice depends on the offending species, especially if soybean looper is the major culprit.

Know your caterpillars (soybean looper, green cloverworm, velvetbean caterpillar, podworm, tobacco budworm and such).

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