Monday, July 11, 2011

Tarnished plant bug, aphid, tobacco budworm and fall armyworm numbers on the increase

Tarnished plant bug adults were found in numerous fields in western Alabama (Lamar County) on Friday (July 8). Pin head square loss was minimal (less than 5%) and very few immature plant bugs were found. This would indicate that adults had moved into cotton fairly recently. However, this is a situation where damage could increase rapidly if controls are not applied.

Several calls were received late last week about increasing aphid populations in some fields. Aphids are late developing this season, which means they also could be late crashing from the fungal disease. This being the case, the peak aphid stress will come during the early boll set window. Growers may find it best to apply aphid controls and prevent plant stress at this stage of maturity.

Heavy tobacco budworm damage has been occurring on sentinel plots of conventional cotton in SW Georgia for the past week. Growers with Bollgard II and Widestrike can sleep well at night knowing that their investment in technology is working to near perfection.

The “grass” strain of the fall armyworm is now damaging pastures and hay crops in several south Alabama counties. This strain will also feed on peanut foliage but will not feed on cotton.