“We are beginning to find bollworms in 2-gene Bt cotton. Most of those were in pink bloom tags, although it’s nothing widespread. Generally, the drier the conditions, the more escapes we expect.
“The fungus came in to help us with aphids. Stink bugs are going to be a problem. We’re seeing about 80% brown stink bugs and we are treating. Big corn earworm and tobacco budworm flights developed in peanuts and cotton, and we are scouting closely. A wave of lesser cornstalk borers also has developed in peanuts.”
Dominic Reisig, NCSU Extension Specialist, Entomology, Plymouth, North Carolina:
“Much-needed rain fell on a lot of our fields last week. You can’t fix what’s been done, but cotton is looking good right now.
“We’re not detecting the aphid fungus yet. The rain helped growers feel better about holding off on treatments, so fewer applications are being made compared to what we would have expected if it hadn’t rained.
“Boll worm moths are around. People are being as careful as they can to preserve beneficial populations so those beneficials are in place when worms become a problem.
“We’re really in a holding pattern with plant bugs. They’re spotty. But we’re starting to treat stink bugs and boll worms in cotton and soybeans.” Editor’s Note: See related report in the Also of Note section.
Jeremy Greene, Clemson University Entomologist, Blackville, South Carolina:
“We have aphid fungus on one of my trials and I’m hearing reports that consultants in Calhoun County are seeing it, too. Hopefully, it will spread, but I’m continuing to receive numerous calls about aphids.
“We are still seeing stink bugs in corn, and they’re slowly moving into cotton. When the corn dries down and they move into cotton and soybeans, it will be like a dam breaking. In the next couple of weeks, we likely will need to protect those bolls.
“Tobacco budworm numbers are increasing in my traps, so they could be important in soybeans near term. Anything and everything will be eating soybeans soon, and I also expect stink bugs to be big in soybeans this season.
“We’re in an area where a consultant is well worth his fees. We need to check every field to decide whether to treat.”
Brandon Dillard, Regional Extension Agronomist, Geneva, Alabama:
“In places, it hasn’t rained in 45 days. Plants are going from vegetative to reproductive mode and water demand is at the peak. It’s critical that we get rain.
“Aphids are pretty rough. We haven’t seen any fungus yet, but I haven’t heard of many treatments, either. If the tropical weather comes out of the gulf, hopefully it will drop these aphids down.
“Fields with variable emergence – everything from 4-leaf to 11-node cotton – are complicating decisions about plant growth regulators.
“We haven’t seen any bollworms yet, but we’re keeping our eyes open. If it rains, those treatments will go out in about 10 days. In peanuts, worm pressure is light. Growers are focused on fungicides. We’ll treat after a good rain.
“Bottomline: we need a good soaker across all our fields.”
Chad Savery, Anchor Ag Solutions LLC, Fairhope, Alabama:
“I’m hearing reports that the aphid fungus is in the Mobile area, but I haven’t seen it, myself, and we’re spraying for aphids all over the place. Since the blue disease hit last year, I haven’t changed my program except to be more aggressive on aphids and we’re scouting for the disease again this year.