Monday, August 20, 2012

Update for the Week of August 19

Our April-planted cotton is beginning to open, and has varying levels of boll rot due to the weather the past 7-14 days. This same weather pattern of frequent thunderstorms and overcast conditions has been ideal for the spread of leaf spot diseases in out late planted cotton.

Insects have been light-to-nonexistent in recent days. There are a few plant bugs present and stink bug numbers have increased in some fields. I am not sure if either are at damaging levels, especially the plant bugs.
I believe we could safely say that leaf spot diseases are potentially more important than insects for the remainder of the season.
Growers who have peanuts or soybeans should monitor these crops carefully for the remainder of the season. Peanuts are attractive to a number of foliage feeding insects – including loopers, fall armyworms, bollworms, budworms, green cloverworms, velvet bean caterpillars and cutworms. Two peanut fields in Monroe County were identified last week with a high infestation of the garden fleahopper. To my knowledge this is the first time for this insect on peanuts. I am not sure what kind of damage potential they present. However, in cotton this pest can cause extensive foliage damage by leaving all leaves with stippling type feeling.
This same type of damage in peanuts would seem to be just as economic as a foliar disease.
Soybeans would be susceptible to damage from all the leps mentioned under peanuts plus the pod feeders – podworms and stink bugs. Many of our beans are late, planted behind wheat, and were just in full bloom the past 10 days. These beans will be susceptible to insect injury for weeks ahead. Only by scouting will growers know when economic insect losses are occurring and when controls are needed. We already have some fields in Baldwin County with damaging levels of soybean loopers. Foliage loss was as high as 35% last week when I made surveys in that area. Soybeans will be the last crop that stink bugs are attracted to this season. Even though it has been a light stink bug season, if they all accumulate in soybeans late season, controls will likely be needed.
I have heard little from the Kudzu bug on soybeans after finding them in the northeast counties of Cherokee and Cleburne back in July. Follow up surveys are needed in that area whenever time permits.
As the season winds down we will get back with further updates as new information becomes available and the situation changes.