Friday, June 24, 2022

Alabama Insect Situation: June 24, 2022

Cotton Situation

The past two weeks have been HOT and DRY across Alabama. We have gotten some scattered storms across the state, but we have also seen a couple of days in the triple digits and a good bit of our crop could use a good drink.

Blasted Square from TPB feeding
We have gotten reports from all cotton producing areas of Alabama this week and the biggest thing going is plant bugs. As more fields begin to square, more adult plant bugs are being found and more fields are needing to be treated. The good news is that most of the reports that we got this week was the fields that were treated the week prior did not have threshold levels of plant bugs this week and only “new” fields needed to be sprayed. Of course, we still need to check fields that have had an application because they can show back up. Our older cotton fields are beginning to bloom and will likely start to have immature plant bugs show up soon. We have not gotten any reports of this yet, but we know they are just around the corner.

With the beforementioned weather, we have the potential for the spider mite situation to “blow up” on us quick. One observation that has been reported from multiple regions of Alabama is that spider mites are worse in fields that were treated with acephate back during the thrips window. In some cases, this may have been as many as 3-4 weeks ago. That is not to say they can’t be found in fields treated with other chemistries or fields that weren’t treated for thrips, but make sure to look for mites in fields that were treated with acephate. With that being said, I would strongly consider the potential to flare spider mites when making a plant bug insecticide decision (note: not a spray decision, if plant bugs are at economic levels, we need to get them). In other words, choose a product that is less likely to aggravate mites.

Soybean Situation

Adult RBSB
We did some sweeps in R2 soybeans near Tallassee and found redbanded stink bugs. We were averaging about 2 adults per 25 sweeps (threshold = 4/25 sweeps). This is an unwelcomed but not unexpected find. We picked up RBSB this spring in clovers when we were sampling and the somewhat mild winter allowed for some survival. Normally, we don’t recommend a pyrethroid with an R3 fungicide trip, but I would consider a piggy pack application if adults are in the field. If we get behind on RBSB, it can be extremely difficult to get back ahead. They are likely not in every field and I would be surprised to see some in north Alabama right now, but now is the time to start looking in central and south Alabama if beans are in the reproductive stages.

As always, if we can be of any help, please let us know.