“We’ve also had a big influx of aphids in the last 10 days, and we’ve tended to most of them. With this next spray, we will include a material for aphids as well as for worm eggs. Aphids take over so fast, so we’re trying to stay ahead of them.
“Plant bugs are light to normal. We are seeing higher numbers in a few fields that are next to corn, which you’d expect. We have only made 2 good applications for plant bugs, so we will also treat them in the upcoming worm spray this week. Also, we’ll give the Bollgard 3 a shot for plant bugs.
“The cotton planted in early May looks really good. Some younger cotton planted around the middle of May went through rough weather and multiple herbicide applications, and all that held it back. That cotton is just starting to come on since we began irrigating it.
“Insects remain mostly light in soybeans. We did find some small bollworms in the late beans this last weekend (7/18-19) on a limited number of acres, and we’re planning to treat that with Intrepid Edge.
“Stink bugs haven’t been a problem so far, but we’re just starting to get to the prime stage to see them.
“Corn is going into dent, and we’re watering a lot of it for the last time. We haven’t seen any disease issues in corn, and unless we do run into diseases soon, the corn has had a fairly simple year.”
Scott Stewart, Extension Entomologist, Jackson, Tennessee
“The latest cotton is just now thinking about flowering. In drier areas, the earliest planted cotton is nearing cutout at about NAWF 5. The later cotton has been receiving plenty of heat the last 8 to 10 days, so it’s catching up fairly well.
“We’re seeing a few more plant bugs in places, but overall numbers are still lower than usual. A lot of treatments are going out this week. In our trials, we are finding a fair number of immature plant bugs on our drop cloths. We’re also detecting a good infestation of adults in the youngest cotton. I’ve seen this is past years, too, where adults swarm pretty heavily to late planted cotton.
“A few bollworm eggs and moths are turning up in places, but I’m not aware of any treatments yet, and I don’t expect a big bollworm flight until August. Based on our corn crop, the bollworm larvae are just now starting to pupate, so I think the counts will steadily increase but the peak of our next flight will be no earlier than the first week of August.
“The later they get here, the better, but we do need to start scouting for bollworms a little harder the closer we get to August.
“Stink bugs appear to be pretty light.
“Some people are begging for rain, but other areas have received decent amounts in the past week. While we do have a few dry spots, the overall crop condition is still good.
“In soybeans, I haven’t had a single person tell me about a dire insect situation so far this year. A few stink bugs are present in older beans, and we might actually see a few more redbanded stink bugs (RBSB) than we usually expect up here. Even if RBSBs increase, it won’t be until September, and that won’t affect the majority of the crop.
“I have heard a few reports of cloverworms causing minor defoliation in various areas. The same goes for bean leaf beetles, which have been unusually quiet this year.
“Kudzu bugs are few and far between, and a late freeze knocked back the kudzu and appears to have set back kudzu bug populations. I think it’s a little early yet but start looking for corn earworm infestations in the latest-planted beans – particularly in the river bottoms. They don’t usually show up until August, but it’s not too early to start checking for them.
“Southwestern corn borers (SWCB) seemed to peak last week in non-Bt corn in our usual hot spots. A very limited number of acres have been treated or still need to be. Don’t assume that you need to treat if you’re growing non-Bt corn. SWCB are a very localized problem in a few areas where growers plant a big part of their crop in non-Bt hybrids.”
David Hydrick, Hydrick’s Crop Consulting, Inc., Jonesboro, Arkansas
“Our latest cotton has just started blooming this week, but most of our crop is in the second or third week of bloom.
“We have battled plant bugs hard for the past 21 days (as of 7/20), but it seems like they are letting up now. Over the last 14 days, we’ve been fighting spider mites, and they are worse this week than they were last week. A lot of treatments already have gone out this week.
“Aphids are also moving in on us. I treated three fields yesterday (7/19) with Transform just for aphids, but they were really just getting started in those fields. We’re still a bit out from any fungus developing.
“The bollworm flight hasn’t materialized yet. We have the numbers in the traps, so we’re just waiting for anything to become obvious in the cotton.
“We’re still cleaning up weeds in a few fields, and we’ve done a lot of 24- and 32-ounce Pix applications to get everything under control.
“In soybeans, we have made a lot of fungicide application in the last couple of weeks. We haven’t seen a big moth flight in the beans yet. Most of the beans are at early R3 to R4, and everything is at least in full bloom. The earliest corn is at mid-dent, and the youngest is at milk stage. The youngest corn has 2 to 3 weeks of watering left. I think we’ll be cutting the first of the higher moisture corn in a month.”
Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist
“Bollworms are definitely increasing in cotton, even since last week, and more and more treatments are going out. It’s getting late for the corn, so the worms are moving into the cotton heavily now. With the hot, dry weather, that process is going even faster.
“The hot weather also is pushing plant bugs out of wild hosts and into cotton. Plant bug numbers are really high, and a lot of people are struggling to control them. A few folks said they sprayed but still have plant bugs 5 days later. We’re at the point where the canopies are closing and everyone is trying to gain control before the canopy closes and plant bugs are harder to reach.
“More calls are coming in about spider mites. Again, the hot, dry weather is a big part of that.
“A few scattered showers fell today (7/22), and the crops were starting to need it. South Arkansas around Tillar received 1.25 inches and Marianna also got some rain. It rained across the state, but it was really spotty, and everything dries out so quickly at these high temperatures.
“With rain in the forecast, people are asking about rainfastness. Based on our research, I would encourage everyone to add a surfactant to any insecticide application you make if rain is predicted. It doesn’t matter what kind of surfactant – they all enhance rainfastness, based on our research.
“When it comes to worm applications like with diamides, I’m not as concerned about rainfastness. As long as those products dry on the plant, they have pretty good rainfastness. But if you’re making plant bug treatments with acephate or Transform, rainfastness is an issue.
“Both our native and redbanded stink bugs have leveled off in soybeans. Everyone is still seeing redbanded, but the counts are pretty low.
“We’re hitting treatment level for bollworms in beans from the Louisiana line to Pine Bluff, but they are scattered. The highest count I’ve heard is 15 in 25 sweeps, and threshold is 9. They are most commonly being found in the bottom parts of the fields where water stood and beans didn’t grow off as well. If you’re scouting for them, start there.
“A huge number of bollworms are still in the corn. We took counts in corn yesterday (7/21) and found 3 to 8 worms per ear. So, this will be a big flight when they cycle out of corn and hit the cotton and soybeans. That could happen in a week or less.
“The numbers likely will increase in the week of July 27 since our trap catches have bottomed out this week. The next couple of weeks will be big for bollworms.
“Fall armyworms are increasing in pastures in the south part of the state. It’s worth taking a look if you have Bermuda pastures, for sure.”
Phillip McKibben, McKibben Ag Services, Mathiston, Mississippi
“We’ve applied our second pint of Pix on most cotton, and for the most part, it’s in really good shape height-wise and is right where we want it. White flowers are running about seven nodes from the top on most of it. On our strong dryland ground, we might reach six or seven nodes pretty quickly, but we can usually hold it there for three weeks or more.
“Plant bugs are still light. The fungus has pretty well taken out the aphids. Enough moisture was around to keep the fungus progressing across fields after the last rains ended. We did spray a field or two for aphids before the fungus came in.
“I saw maybe two bollworm moths all day yesterday (7/20) and I looked at cotton for most of the day. But in digging through the R4 corn, we’re finding all ages of worms. The bigger worms are on the edge of pupating, so we expect a worm uptick in the next 10 to 14 days.