“In soybean, kudzu bugs are building, and I have seen a few green cloverworms, soybean loopers and stinkbugs. Everything else is at low levels. Hold off treating a little longer so we can catch everything at once.”
Phillip Roberts, Extension Entomologist, Tifton, Georgia
“Aphids are crashing hard south and west of Tifton. The fungus is not in the eastern part of the state, but hopefully it’s on the way. In nearly all cases, we need to wait for the fungus to control aphids for us.
“Unless the aphids are causing significant stress, we don’t recommend treating them. We simply can’t demonstrate a consistent yield response from spraying aphids.
“Spiders mites are showing up, but only scattered fields are being treated. Spot treating is an option if it’s a localized infestation. For at least the immediate forecast, we are hot and dry, and that favors spider mites.
“We are on the front end of a corn earworm flight. This is right on time. Scout all cotton, regardless of technology. Bt cotton is not immune to corn earworm. If we see eggs and larvae, we want to give technology the chance to work. But if the larvae size up, we need to be ready to act quickly.
“About half of the cotton is setting bolls. Make sure stinkbug management is a priority. This week, I’ve heard mixed reports on stinkbugs, ranging from low to moderate pressure. The only way to know what to do is to scout. We only want to spray for stinkbugs when they are at threshold or higher. Conserve those beneficial insects.
“One of the main reasons to conserve beneficial insects is whiteflies. We are treating some fields for whiteflies in the core area. It’s so important to be on time with your initial insecticide spray. Treatable acres are in the core areas now, but scouts are picking up low populations in distant areas.
“The question is how far will they spread? Who knows? All we can do is make sure all of Georgia is on alert and looking for whiteflies. Just knowing they are there is important, because they should influence every treatment decision you make from here on out.”
Scott Graham, Extension Entomologist, Auburn University
“Tarnished plant bugs overall seem lighter than usual in north Alabama where cotton isn’t quite at bloom. Square retention looks good, and we are not catching any plant bugs in sweeps.
“The bollworm flight kicked off in south Alabama right on time last week. Bollworm trap counts in north Alabama were still low this week. We generally expect the bollworm flight to arrive in north Alabama in the first week of August.
“In soybeans, west Alabama farmers sprayed a couple thousand acres for redbanded stinkbugs (RBSB). The populations aren’t high, but you don’t want to play catchup with RBSB.”
Sally Taylor, Virginia Tech Extension Entomologist, Tidewater REC
“We’ve found a few more plant bugs in cotton this week. We are still a bit out ahead of bloom. The majority of our cotton acres will move into true bloom in the next two weeks. Scout for plant bugs after the second week of bloom using a black beat cloth. Stop by the station or give me a call if you need a beat cloth. We provide them for free thanks to generous industry supporters.,
“We are sampling for western corn rootworm in our traditional continuous corn area on the west side of the state. We again are seeing low pressure. We believe wet springs in recent years are causing high mortality.
“One precaution for peanut and cotton farmers in dry areas across the state is don’t mow. Mowing can flare spider mites. We also need to consider spider mites any time we make insect treatment decisions. Our peanut farmers are smart IPM practitioners. They’ve been doing this a long time.”
Chad Savery, Anchor Ag Solutions LLC, Fairhope, Alabama
“Aphid numbers are way down, even in untreated fields. We are seeing symptoms of cotton leafroll dwarf virus sporadically in a small percentage of fields.
“On about half our cotton acreage, we put out preventive fungicides for target spot prior to canopy closure. So far, we haven’t seen any target spot in treated or untreated fields.
“Spider mites haven’t reached treatment level, probably because we have had a lot of rain. Because of that rain, we are putting out tons of plant growth regulator.
“We are at the third week of bloom on our oldest cotton and we’re randomly finding stinkbugs. We started seeing bollworm moths this week. We treated tarnished plant bugs, and they appear to have been zeroed out, at least for now.”
Jack Royal, Royal’s Agricultural Consulting Co., Inc., Leary, Georgia
“Everything is still running smoothly. We’re seeing scattered tarnished plant bugs, nothing heavy, and we are spraying a few fields. Most of our cotton is in the first or second week of bloom, so we are scouting for stinkbugs, and we expect to reach threshold next week.
“We are closely watching the two-gene cotton. We expect the bollworm flight to pick up next week. Most of our cotton is three-gene and it’s clean.
“Rain is boosting growth, so we are applying PGR. We’re trying to complete layby and make our last herbicide shot. Our fields are pretty clean. We applied most of our dicamba early.
“Peanut insect pressure is light. We’re on a good fungicide program. We start spraying at about 36 days old. So far, we’ve been pretty clean as long as we’ve stayed on schedule. You can find a little tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) in all of our fields. We have a couple of fields where the stands are adequate, but a little skippier than I’d like, and we have a little more TSWV in those.”
David Butcher, NC Ag Service, Inc., Pantego, North Carolina
“Cotton development is still a little behind, but it’s catching up some. The weather is finally starting to warm up. The most mature cotton we have is just beginning to flower. The majority isn’t quite there.
“We are seeing aphids and a few plant bugs. We don’t want to do a lot of spraying unless we absolutely must. With this delayed crop, we’re going to be more protective than usual because we don’t have time to make up for any mistakes.
“Corn is just starting to silk or tassel and it looks good. We have low stink bug pressure and aren’t seeing any disease.
“Our earliest planted soybeans are flowering. We are seeing a few stinkbugs, and we eventually will need to spray some.