2007-09-05 / Fields & Yields

In the Furrow

A Final Push for Worms in Summer Crops?
By Will Duffie County Extension Coordinator

Insects are interesting creatures in how they play a beneficial role in nature, and on the other hand

how they can seemingly destroy a crop overnight. Labor Day signals the end of summer, and Burke

County farmers hope that destructive insects take the rest of the growing season off, but this probably will not be the case.

During the first of August, I wrote an article on fall armyworms in hay fields. Well, they have shown up over the past 5 days. Remember that the decision to treat for fall armyworms depends on the stage of development and the intended use of the forage. Use a threshold of 3 or more fall armyworms per square foot in deciding to treat. Some producers may be on schedule to cut hay avoiding a treatment. The main thing is to be sure and scout hay fields.

Soybean acreage has doubled in our county this year. In the same note the majority of the soybeans are late planted meaning they are susceptible to insects during September. Growers are urged to monitor bean fields for foliage and pod feeding caterpillars and for fields that have not been treated with Dimilin. Dimilin is recommended as a preventative treatment for velvetbean caterpillars. Scouting using a drop cloth is the easiest method in assessing worm populations.

Peanut fields need to be monitored, but the threat is not as great as hay or soybeans. Peanuts can tolerate between four to eight worms per linear foot based on vine and leaf and growth conditions.

Later planted cotton still needs monitoring for bollworms, armyworms and stink bugs. Cotton bolls are safe when they reach around 25 days of age. Be sure to monitor fields that are lush green; these fields will be attractive as many fields have begun to mature with harvest near. Contact the Burke County Extension Office at 706-554-2119 for information on insect control.

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