Jeremy Greene, Clemson University Entomologist, Blackville, South Carolina
“We are seeing aphids build more in cotton, as well as a growing population of plant bugs. I really want to stress growers need to be getting out and scouting on pre-bloom cotton. I’m not really concerned with aphids — I think they are usually just food for the good insects in the fields. Plant bugs are what we should typically be watching for. Most of the crop here is at pre-bloom or right at the bloom stage, so growers need to be checking for plant bugs and knowing when to treat. In South Carolina, we’re expecting tarnished plant bugs to be an issue a week before and after bloom.
“Right now, we’re just trying to push through until we get to the stink bugs and bollworms because those will be our top priority.
“There’s not much going on with our soybeans. There’s a lingering problem with grasshoppers, which could be a problem in some areas in the vegetative stage.”
Dominic Reisig, NCSU Extension Specialist, Entomology, Plymouth, North Carolina
“The main thing we’re seeing in cotton is the tarnished plant bug. It seems they are widespread, but populations are heaviest in the northeast area of the state. With cotton squaring right now, I still haven’t heard stories of just poor retention. It seems like the populations are lighter, but I’m getting a lot of questions about treatment options. For July, we are promoting Transform for the sake of preserving beneficial insects in preparation for the bollworms.
“Some places are still struggling from the extremely wet early June, but I think moisture is pretty good. Most places aren’t too wet that it’s a problem. So far, I’d say conditions are pretty normal for the summer.
“In corn, we are pretty much finished with spraying for stink bugs. It was a lighter year than 2020, and 2020 was certainly lighter than 2019. I think we are out of the woods with those bugs. In soybeans, I’m not hearing much of anything, which isn’t abnormal. Some fields are flowering and some of the early fields even have pods.”