“Some of our MG III beans planted on high red soil look really good. Those beans are two-thirds grown in the pods and are relatively insect-free.
“Double-cropped beans behind wheat already have threecornered alfalfa hoppers, green cloverworms and loopers. They were finally planted around July 1 and are a couple of feet tall. The double-crop beans still need rain, weed control and insecticides.
“We are starting to see spotty efficiency rates with Engenia killing pigweed. We made an application and took out a lot of pigweed, but some was left. Going forward, we’ll have to expand our herbicide rotations to take care of those issues.
“Corn is past the dent stage, but the latest-planted is really going to need rain in August.”
Sebe Brown, Louisiana Extension Field Crops Entomologist
“We’re still seeing a lot of bollworm egg lay, and trap catches remain high. We had no trouble finding eggs on our station plots in central Louisiana today (8/4), and a pretty large bollworm flight continues across the state.
“This last flush of moths is just now coming out of this year’s last corn. With that corn dried down now, moth numbers hopefully will start slacking off over the next 10 days. But don’t let your guard down yet because we’re still seeing plenty of moths in trap catches.
“Diamides are still performing well against bollworms. I haven’t had any complaints as far as that goes.
“Three-gene cotton is also holding up well, and I have still only heard one complaint about it. We are advising against spraying eggs on three-gene cotton, and most people are following that recommendation. However, guys aren’t even giving dual-gene a chance to fail, and they’re spraying it regardless. All the dual-gene acres have been treated.
“Some guys are done with plant bugs, but others are still fighting them. It really depends on the landscape around the cotton field and the age of the cotton.
“Spider mites are starting to pick up. Hot, dry weather towards the end of the season is the perfect recipe for increasing spider mites. Some miticides are going out, but I expect more treatments. People will shift to harsher chemistries for plant bugs and stink bugs as we approach the finish line, and that allows mites to build. With the current forecast, spider mite pressure will likely continue increasing
“Rainfall has varied widely. It rained three-tenths of an inch over the weekend (8/1-2) at the Dean Lee REC, but we haven’t had a good rain in the last week or so and certainly need one. But in areas south of here, it rained 4 inches over the weekend.
“In soybeans, plenty of defoliators are starting to move in, especially in south Louisiana. Velvetbean caterpillars, soybean loopers and green cloverworms are all being reported. In places, any of the three are hitting threshold, but soybean loopers are reaching threshold more readily, based on reports.
For loopers, the threshold is 150 worms per 100 sweeps. Soybean loopers are harder to control than the other two, which makes them a conern, and we’re recommending a high rate of a diamide when dealing with threshold counts.
“Redbanded and native stink bug species vary, depending on location. A lot of treatments are going out in places, and spraying will continue until just about when beans are in the truck.
“Stink bug scouting will be really time-intensive because we have such a wide range of beans in terms of growth stages. Stink bugs may concentrate in one field but not in the field across the turnrow due to differences in the ages and growth stages of those two fields. As beans come out of the more advanced fields, stink bugs will increasingly concentrate in any susceptible acres still left.”
Scott Stewart, Extension Entomologist, Jackson, Tennessee
“Some cotton in the drier areas and earlier-planted fields is at NAWF 1 to 2, so we are primarily done managing insects on those fields.
“We’re on the front end of the bollworm flight. Quite a few people are reporting a few moths and eggs, but I’m still expecting a fairly large bollworm flight this year. It’s picking up, and I think we’ll see a lot more in the next 5-10 days.
“In cotton, the main concern is the Bollgard II cotton. I expect the Bollgard 3 and WideStrike 3 to hold up against the worms, but they still need to be scouted. We still have a fair amount of Bollgard II is in the system, so we’re primarily focused on spraying worms in those fields.
“A lot of plant bug treatments have gone out in the last week. Plant bugs are lighter than normal, but a lot of fields are still reaching or exceeding threshold, and we are seeing stink bugs in some places. Overall, I think most people have their plant bugs under control.
“People are trying to decide what materials to apply for some combination of plant bugs and stink bugs in certain cases, plus the incoming bollworm flight. It’s a little early to get too excited about bollworms, but in 5 to 7 days I expect a lot of sprays to go out. In the vast majority of situations, I’m encouraging them to start with the diamide insecticides.
“Some are using an acephate mixed with a pyrethroid this week, aiming to clean up plant bugs and stink bugs. They also hope this buys them a few days of worm control before they possibly have to come back with a diamide for bollworms.
“More corn earworms (CEW) are turning up in the late-planted soybeans than in cotton. I’ve heard about really high moth numbers in some areas near the Mississippi River, which is our typical hotspot. These CEW moths will focus their attention in beans that are flowering, and especially if the canopy hasn’t closed up.
“Based on reports, all kinds of worms have turned up in soybeans – cloverworms, a mix of loopers, and corn earworms in various places but certainly not everywhere. Scout beans closely. I expect a lot of sprays to start going out in the next week for corn earworms in our latest soybeans.
“I want to remind everyone that the biggest bollworm issues in soybean, and sometimes cotton, are often seen in the Mississippi River bottoms. I’m pretty confident those moths use the Mississippi River as a navigational route, so the crops nearby sometimes suffer the consequences. Having said that, economic infestations of bollworm in cotton can occur anywhere in the state.
“Stink bugs and kudzu bugs are still relatively light in beans, but we will see more spraying for these pests in the coming weeks.
“Most corn is in dent or beyond except for a few late-planted fields. It could use some rain to finish up in some places. We’ve not had a good, widespread rain. Some places have had good rainfall, others are dry. Currently, and the forecast doesn’t look promising.”
Richard Griffing, Griffing Consulting, LLC, Monterey, Louisiana
“Cotton is cutting out pretty good, and it’s really maturing fast. We have had open bolls on the oldest for a couple of weeks, but the youngest hasn’t opened up quite yet. The cotton has had a fairly easy season so far, and it still looks really promising.
“We’re having to really stay on top of plant bugs and bollworms. Two shots of diamide already has gone out on most of the cotton, and we’re treating for plant bugs every 8 to 9 days. This has been one of the lighter years for plant bugs, but we’re still having to spray them, of course.
“Spider mites have also been fairly light. I have only treated a couple hundred acres all year. That could all change at any point. I usually have a lot of spider mite issues, but this has not been one of those years.
“We are seeing some target spot. It’s not terrible, but the cotton was wet for up to 18 hours per day from all the showers. A nice front is coming through right now (8/3), and no rain is in the forecast for the next 10 days, plus low humidity. I hope the target spot will float out with the front.
“I have seen very little bacterial blight on the bolls. Again, I’m hoping this weather will come in and clear up a lot of diseases we’re beginning to see. There’s plenty of sunshine and favorable temperatures in the forecast, so I think all the crops will start maturing faster.
“We’re beginning to desiccate a lot of soybeans. Within the next 7 days, we’ll have 70% done, and in the next 14 days 80% will be desiccated.
“Redbanded stink bugs are horrible, and we’re having to spray them every 10 days.
“A few of my clients are harvesting beans. No word on yields, but growers seem to be pleased. In another week, we will be heavy into soybean harvest.
“Corn harvest is just starting, and so far, it’s looking really good. One of my farmers harvested about 1,000 acres and used the word ‘exceptional’ to describe it. Like the beans, it’ll be another week before we are really wide open on harvesting corn.”
Eddy Cates, Cates Agritech Inc., Marion, Arkansas
“We’re still spraying plant bugs, and we have been fighting them for well over a month and a half. We are also spraying spider mites, but they are about under control.
“A moth flight is just beginning (8/4), and we are seeing a few moths dribbling into the cotton. Treatments moving forward will likely be for a mix of plant bugs and worms. The heaviest plant bug pressure is still in cotton surrounded by corn, but even in areas away from corn we are fighting them, only with somewhat longer intervals.
“A lot of our cotton is right at cutout or at NAWF 2-3. We are trying to shut down that cotton, but a lot of the irrigated cotton is still at NAWF 5-6. In the next couple of days, a lot of our cotton should be at or past cutout.
“Soybeans range from R3 to R6. This week, we are spraying bollworms on several fields at R2 to R3.5. In addition to bollworms, a heavy infestation of green cloverworms (GCW) has developed. In some situations, we are at 1 per sweep. We’re watching the levels of defoliation, and it’s looking like we will have to spray a few fields for GCW. The worms continue increasing. Last week, they were just at 25% on 100 sweeps.
“I haven’t had to spray for GCW before, but the way this looks we will this year. I’m hearing that some people are hitting as high as 200% when they sweep. If we reach 10% to 15% defoliation and with these numbers when we sweep, GCW will have to be sprayed. I have fields at 7% defoliation now.
“Corn is very close to being done. A lot is at a quarter to half on the starch line. We’re watering it this week and maybe next week, but we will start terminating corn next week at half-starch.”
Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist
“It’s becoming extremely busy in the cotton (8/5). Bollworm counts are increasing. A second flight is underway in south Arkansas, but for some parts of the state this may be the third flight. A heavy egg lay is ongoing in the southern half of the state, and a lot of sprays are going out. Some guys are actually spraying their second Prevathon or Besiege application on numerous fields.
“This has really been an extended, heavy bollworm flight. Plenty of eggs were laid in our plots in Tillar, and we’re also seeing significant damage where we didn’t spray the dual-gene cotton. But all the three-gene cotton – the Bollgard 3, WideStrike 3 and TwinLink Plus – it seems to be holding up well.
“Plant bugs are still a problem and numbers are still high. It seems like there’s a new wave of plant bugs coming in fields regularly, and a lot of guys are battling plant bugs and worms at the same time.
“Plant bugs actually started light this year, but it’s been a normal year in terms of overall plant bug pressure. Some farmers have only sprayed plant bugs once or twice, but others have treated 4 to 6 times. Look for boll damage and monitor plant bug numbers to determine when to spray.
“We still have scattered aphids in some fields. Spider mites appear to be building in areas, particularly in northeast Arkansas.