“Although the moth flight was heavy, we didn’t have to treat any acres for bollworm. Most of my cotton acres are in three-gene varieties.
“In peanuts, we need to stay on our fungicide schedule to keep white mold under control. Where we could stay on a 14-day schedule, the fields look good. But with the heat and humidity that we’ve had, we couldn’t stretch our schedule more than that. Leaf spot pressure has been fairly light – and much lighter than last year.
“We treated a lot of our peanut acres with a long-lasting insecticide and we haven’t had to come back with anything on those fields. We try to time the application so we are on the backside of lesser cornstalk borers and we’re ahead of velvetbean caterpillar.
“Coverage usually lasts for about 75 days. Even though our biggest pest in peanuts this time of year is velvetbean caterpillar, we usually expect enough activity out of that application to carry us through to harvest. My oldest peanuts are 112 days, so we still have a few weeks to go. We’ll keep scouting.”
Ron Smith, Extension Entomologist, Auburn University
“We still have stinkbugs, mostly browns, and some plant bug adults are in our older cotton. We seem to have more of those in the early-planted fields than in the late-planted cotton. A few leaffooted bugs also are in the mix. Plenty of folks are making one last cleanup spray.
“We are still concerned about silverleaf whitefly (SLWF), and they are more prominent in fields with a history of SLWF. In 2017, SLWF spilled over into peanuts and soybean. In my opinion, however, they are not as big a problem in those crops because we’re not concerned about the honeydew dripping onto lint.
“In soybeans and peanuts, we’re concerned about them sucking juice. In all crops, we want to monitor them and determine if they’re building. We are detecting them as far north as Montgomery and as far west as Demopolis.
“Our cotton is maturing fast. Some fields will produce good yields. But it’s hard to speak of the Alabama crop as a whole or estimate the statewide average this early. We grow our cotton over a large area and have the most widely distributed cotton east of Texas.
“We still have soybean looper sand velvetbean caterpillars on peanuts and soybeans. The populations don’t seem to be increasing, so we’re hoping we are past the peak of moth activity with those two.
“Redbanded stinkbugs are popping up in more places in soybeans every week. We are at threshold at Prattville, and we’ve already sprayed in the Black Belt areas west of Selma. We can detect them down in Monroe County, but they’re not at treatable levels there – not yet.
“More thunderstorms have moved through, but they’re not reaching everywhere. We still need rain, especially in the northern part of the state.”
Dominic Reisig, NCSU Extension Specialist, Entomology, Plymouth, North Carolina
“In cotton, bollworms are mostly done. Generally, we expect a huge generation in late August and into early September, but it doesn’t establish. We usually see a heavy flight, with some eggs and instars.
“However, we aren’t done with plant bugs. They weren’t prevalent early, but they’ve been hanging on. We’re creeping towards the last effective bloom date, which is around August 25, but plant bugs will hit small bolls. So, pay attention to them.
“We also found brown marmorated stinkbug in cotton at Rocky Mount, which is a first for that area.
“We have a little pest activity in soybeans, and we are still spraying corn earworms. Although they remain spotty, the pressure seems extended this season. Normally, we’re kind of wrapping up corn earworms about now.
“We are also finding tiny soybean loopers, and they’re here a couple of weeks early. I usually call the first week of September ‘soybean looper week,’ so we’ll see what happens from here.
“Quite a few people are reporting three-cornered alfalfa hopper damage in soybeans, and they seem to have been widespread. Some were likely at treatable levels when the plants were seedlings, since that’s when the damage we are seeing now took place.
“As we look to what we can do to increase soybean yields, controlling these pests early is an area for improvement. If we expect to grow a high-yielding crop with good economic returns, we’ll have to closely manage pests. It’s not always easy to find these insects, and we’ll need to scout.
“We expect more issues with stinkbugs as the soybean season progresses. Even though stinkbugs have been light this year, cotton is cutting out and corn is leaving the field, so soybeans are the only crop left for them.
“We’re finding noticeable numbers of Southern green stinkbugs, which is unusual for us. I suspect populations have built up over a couple of mild winters.”
Sally Taylor, Virginia Tech Extension Entomologist, Tidewater REC
“Around half of Virginia’s cotton is at or near cutout. With our last effective bloom date next week, we need to make smart spray decisions. Let’s keep in mind the cost versus the potential return from a top crop.
“We are seeing a lot of immature plant bugs. Where we’ve already treated, we’re not detecting much re-infestation. Although plant bugs can and will damage young bolls, I would only spray if you are counting on making yield from susceptible positions.
“In soybeans, we are seeing more corn earworms, especially in wide-row and drought-stressed fields. We need to be careful about which treatments we choose. We already are seeing widespread looper infestations, and next week marks the start of our soybean looper window – when populations could potentially blow up. We need to make product decisions based on looper control.
“Overall, stinkbug numbers are low in soybeans.”
Michael Mulvaney, Cropping Systems Specialist, University of Florida
“Our cotton looks great. I’m always hesitant to say that because plenty of season is left. We held our UF/IFAS Virtual Cotton Tour this week in Santa Rosa County, and everyone was talking about how clean our cotton and peanut fields look.
“We sent through a dry period earlier, but it rained at about the time our cotton looked like it was flagging a little.
“Our peanuts appear to be healthy, too. Some leaf spot and white mold are turning up. We want to keep getting rain, but don’t want a hurricane.
“In soybeans, we definitely need to be spraying for Asian soybean rust – if it’s not already too late. If you turn your back on soybean rust, it will get all over you. We saw one conventional field that was 60% to 70% defoliated. We are at podfill and need to keep those leaves healthy. If you can put down a protective fungicide, it’s not too late to apply it now.”
Phillip Roberts, Extension Entomologist, Tifton, Georgia
“Whitefly continues spreading. Controlling silverleaf whitefly (SLWF) is all about timing and choosing the right product in the context of that timing. In my travels, it’s becoming apparent where people have been timely with their SLWF control and where they were late or chose the wrong product.
“Which product a grower picks depends on whether the application will be made on time. An insect growth regulator (IGR) must go out on time. If an application goes out late, use a contact, systemic product, and it still will be a challenge to catch up.