“Insect and disease pressure is fairly low in all of our crops. We are concerned about plant bugs in cotton, so keep an eye on square retention and plant bug numbers.
“Peanuts are starting to peg. We are seeing a little spotted wilt, but nothing to be concerned about. Because we are fairly new to peanut production in this part of Alabama, we tend to have lower disease pressure on this fresh ground.”
John Burleson, Consultant, Swan Quarter, North Carolina
“Water stress is a problem in our cotton and corn, although not so much in our soybeans. Soybeans and cotton put on a lot of growth in the last 10 days – more in the last 10 days than in the last two months. Our cotton is probably running a month behind normal, and that’s a conservative estimate.
“Soybeans are all over the board, but that is normal because we usually have a mix of planting dates. Corn ranges from V8 to silking. Some growers are putting out fungicide on corn, and stinkbug pressure in corn is low.”
Brandon Dillard, Seed Certification Associate, Alabama Crop Improvement
“As late as it is, some people are still spotting replants into skippy peanut stands.
“We are seeing a few worms in peanuts, but I haven’t heard of any sprays going out yet.
“Aphid problems in cotton are limited, which may be due to these regular rains. We are seeing a lot of stinkbugs and plant bugs in cotton. Most growers are adding a treatment for them when they go across the field with weed control or when applying a plant growth regulator.”
Sally Taylor, Virginia Tech Extension Entomologist, Tidewater REC
“High plant bug numbers are turning up in less than 5% of our cotton. If you’re not scouting and wonder whether to apply an insecticide, my money is on ‘no’. The sure bet when making a treatment decision is to scout.
“Some peanut fields started showing leafhopper injury in the past two weeks. That includes yellowing and subsequent browning of leaf margins starting at the tip. Remember that this is non-economic impact until 20% to 25% of foliage is affected. Also, check to see if insects are actually present before applying insecticide.”
Ron Smith, Extension Entomologist, Auburn University
“More cotton fields are reaching the bloom stage each day. Tarnished plant bug is the main insect we’re concerned about. Many fields are at sub-threshold levels with adults. A lot of these fields are getting treatment because the grower is going over the field with a plant growth regulator and boron anyway.
“The wet weather has extended the migration because wild hosts have remained viable and attractive longer than usual. So, we could be contending with drawn out pressure from plant bugs.
“Immature tarnished plant bugs are showing up in April-planted cotton. We can use the 80% square retention level to decide whether to treat, but also factor in the physiological shed that we occurs after a number of days of cloudy, rainy weather. For several days following a wet and cloudy period, square loss may not all be due to plant bugs.
“The bright side of wet, cloudy weather is that spider mites aren’t likely to spread. However, they don’t go away. Spider mites likely will be a major concern if we get into a hot, dry period later this season.
“Aphids are building, and that’s another factor in deciding which chemical to use for plant bugs. We are only seeing them on the occasional plant, so our aphids are late. That means we may be dealing with aphids for several weeks. When they’re just on the occasional plant, I’ve never seen them die off from the fungus. The populations have to build for that to happen. My experience is that when the aphids show up late, the fungus shows up late, as well.
“Growers and consultants are wise to consider the impact on spider mites and aphids when making treatment decisions for tarnished plant bugs.”
Phillip Roberts, Extension Entomologist, Tifton, Georgia
“Aphid numbers are still building, but we are finding isolated hits of fungus. We haven’t seen a lot of fields crashing, but hopefully it’s coming soon. To gauge whether the fungus has developed, look for those gray, fuzzy aphid cadavers in the fields. Hopefully, those will start showing up this week, especially in the hardest-hit areas in the southwest corner of the state. We typically see the fungus start in that corner and then move north and east.
“Be vigilant about scouting for plant bugs. Populations seem to have moderated, but we still have fields that need treatment. If you have a problem, address it. If not, let our beneficial populations continue to multiply.