“Most of my cotton is two-gene, but we haven’t had any trouble with bollworms. If I look hard enough, I can find damage on a boll or two every now and then. I found two fall armyworms, but haven’t yet seen any bollworms.
“Overall, insect pressure is low. I haven’t sprayed anything for stinkbugs yet. We did spray for plant bugs and we treated 50 or 60 acres for spider mites. With the mites, it was pretty much an edge effect.
“We don’t have any whiteflies. I have never had whiteflies in this area, and I’m hoping that holds true for this year, too.”
Sally Taylor, Virginia Tech Extension Entomologist, Tidewater REC
“We are getting a lot of calls about worms in peanut, but few concerning worms in cotton. We are still below the 6% injury threshold for bollworm in conventional and two-gene cotton varieties. Plant bugs have been spotty all season and numbers are spiking this week. This ranges from heavily infested fields to fields with little or no bugs.
“I can’t over-stress the importance of scouting. Use a beat cloth to sample multiple parts of the field. Let me know if you need one or need help learning how to use it.
“Scout soybeans, too. We don’t want large worms developing when plants have pods. Threecornered alfalfa leaf hopper caused injury in multiple counties in south-central Virginia. This injury happens early in the season and leads to lodging, which is showing up now. Use restraint if considering spraying leaf hoppers at this point.
“Soybean loopers are here early and are mostly pyrethroid-resistant, and populations can explode following a spray. If you have unexplained lodging in your soybean, please reach out to my program. I want to know the distribution of the problem so we can predict at-risk fields next season.
“Predictably, we have fall armyworm pressure in forage corn in the western part of the state. Avoid single-gene Bt hybrids in late-planted corn.
“Sugarcane aphid is finding sorghum no matter where it is, no matter how small the field.”
Jack Royal, Royal’s Agricultural Consulting Co., Inc., Leary, Georgia
“We are hot and dry. All I can say is thank god for irrigation. We just need a widespread general rain to help drop these temperatures.
“We haven’t had much of a bollworm flight, so we aren’t spraying any fields for worms, but we are treating some cotton for stinkbugs. We sprayed all the cotton once for stinkbugs and came back a second time over less than 10% of the acreage.
“We have a few whiteflies, but nothing at threshold. We are monitoring closely, but we’ve been able to keep them down with crop management.
“We sprayed less than 5% of our peanut fields for foliage feeders, but numbers started going up over the last 10 days. Where worms went over threshold and reached about 3.5 worms per foot, we added a diamide to our fungicide application. No telling what we’ll see the rest of this week.
“We are staying on a good fungicide schedule in peanuts. With this heat and the irrigation situation, you can create the prime environment for white mold, and my goal is to never see white mold in any field. With the fungicide schedule that most of my growers stay on, we haven’t detected any disease so far. We spend the money so we don’t have a problem.”
Dominic Reisig, NCSU Extension Specialist, Entomology, Plymouth, North Carolina
“We received plenty of rain from the storm (Hurricane Isiais) that came through. Western North Carolina needed rain, but the east may not have needed it as much. Our crops mostly look good, although we’re in a wet pattern now and some fields need draining.
“Insect activity is spotty. We have spots of plant bugs, stinkbugs and bollworms. The moth flight is super heavy in various areas, but we don’t see widespread issues in the field. Spider mites are only an issue if you deplete beneficial insect populations.
“We definitely are spraying soybeans for worms. Here and there we also are treating stinkbugs. Nothing is widespread.”
Ron Smith, Extension Entomologist, Auburn University
“We have a bit of everything scattered all over the state, and some of each is being treated. We don’t have one insect or worm to single out. Everything is just scattered everywhere.
“We’ve got a relatively heavy bollworm moth flight in the Tennessee Valley, but we haven’t heard of any economic numbers of escaped worms. We have some old escaped worms in the Prattville area that are about to cycle out.
“Stinkbugs are showing up at damaging levels, and we still have plant bugs – tarnished and clouded – hanging on. Leaffooted bugs and spider mites are causing problems in a number of places in the state.
“Silverleaf whitefly is localized. We are going back to scout whitefly in the traditional areas later this week. If it stays hot and dry, whitefly is probably going to spread.
“We have bolls opening. On one stalk of cotton planted March 18, I have 10 open bolls and one cracking. Our older cotton had about three good weeks of boll setting in July. It needed four weeks.
“In soybeans, green cloverworm and velvetbean caterpillar are causing problems in the southern part of the state. Soybean looper populations are in low numbers but will probably go up in the next week.
“Overriding all of that, we need widespread rain. Where it hasn’t rained in two-plus weeks we are terribly dry, and are losing yield potential. Late-planted cotton historically is at greater risk of dry weather, and you can’t make much cotton if it doesn’t rain. Even if we don’t set more bolls, we need rain to fill out the bolls we do have. The outlook is good for scattered thunderstorms this week.”
Jeremy Greene, Clemson University, Entomologist, Blackville, South Carolina
“We are getting some rain. We still have scattered storms, but they’re bigger and going across more fields than not. Overall, we’re better as far as moisture goes.
“The downside of this rain, at least locally, is the moisture encouraged the emergence of corn earworms from pupae in the soil, and we’re seeing more moths. The rain also has made cotton more attractive.
“We likely won’t see the result of egg laying for a week or so, but they certainly have time to complete their life cycle. We will likely see another push from bollworms before the season ends.
“Aphids started building again in one area. At this point, we shouldn’t do anything but watch them. We need to be more concerned about bollworm – if the field is planted to two-gene cotton. If it’s three-gene cotton, we probably don’t need to worry too much about bollworm.
“But, keep looking for bollworms. Activity in my trial plots is higher than it’s been in years.