New biopesticide available for bollworm and budworm crop pests

A host-specific virus is being used to control bollworms and budworms in Arkansas crops.

Helicoverpa nuclearopolyhedrovirus, or just NPV, does not affect humans, plants or other insects, including beneficials. Continue reading

Insect outlook for 2018

In Delta Farm Press

CORN INSECT OUTLOOK

What’s the expected insect spectrum and intensity for Mid-South corn in 2018?  We asked regional university entomologists to offer insight into what growers may be facing next year, and to mention a few tools that could be of help.

Tennessee: No surprises are expected in Tennessee corn in 2018, says Scott Stewart, University of Tennessee Extension entomologist at Jackson. “Between seed treatments and Bt technology, we just don’t have consistent major problems in corn. Of course, there are always special circumstances where you might want to bump the rate on a seed treatment, or use an additional at-planting treatment.   Continue reading

Scouting videos for field crops

Texas A&M AgriLife specialists have prepared a few videos that are good, general videos on insect identification and scouting.

Although the videos make reference to Texas, the information in them is general enough to use in any state with the pest.

UK researchers one step closer to corn earworm control

by Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

Findings from a University of Kentucky student’s undergraduate research experience could help farmers control one of their most troublesome pests.

Alonna Wright, a junior from Morgantown, Ky., works with a genetically selected, mutant form of a nudivirus. This nudivirus causes a sexually transmitted disease only found in the corn earworm. In one-third of the cases in nature, virus infection results in insect sterility. The genetically selected form causes an insect STD resulting in 100 percent sterility, and as Wright has found, could give a boost to the naturally occurring virus to make it more effective. Continue reading

Soybean growers should watch for late season defoliators

In Delta Farm Press

by Sebe Brown and David Kerns, LSU AgCenter Entomologists

As Louisiana soybeans progress into late summer, producers and consultants should be wary of late-season defoliators such as soybean loopers, velvet bean caterpillars and lingering populations of corn earworms.

Soybean loopers have the ability to build large populations quickly and are exaggerated by the use of broad-spectrum insecticides for three-cornered alfalfa hoppers and stink bugs.

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Old World bollworm may be worse than New World bollworm

In AgriLife Today

Texas A&M AgriLife entomologists are advising producers about the possible arrival of a potential major new pest of field crops and vegetables in the U.S. if its ominous track-record in other countries is any indication.

The pest is the Old World bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, and was recently detected in Florida. This is the first record of it in the continental U.S. after being discovered in Brazil in 2013, said Dr. Charles Allen, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service state integrated pest management leader in San Angelo.

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Clemson scientists find controls for corn insects

Jim Melvin, Public Service Activities

A cornfield can be an unfriendly host for insect pests, and scientists such as Clemson’s Francis Reay-Jones are striving to keep it that way.

There are almost 275,000 acres of corn planted in South Carolina with an economic impact of approximately $130 million. Though this is dwarfed by Midwest states, such as Iowa (13.7 million acres, $8.75 billion), it’s still a lot of corn — enough, at least, to make a person think South Carolina would be a utopia for the insects that like to feast on tasty yellow kernels.

But instead of being a slice of paradise, a cornfield can be a far-from-optimal host for pests such as the corn earworm.

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Study shows Bt trait in corn having reduced effectiveness

By Matt Shipman, NC State University

A new study from North Carolina State University and Clemson University finds that the toxin in a widely used genetically modified (GM) crop is having little impact on the crop pest called corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea) – which is consistent with predictions made almost 20 years ago that had been largely ignored. The study may be a signal to pay closer attention to warning signs about the development of resistance in agricultural pests to GM crops.

At issue is genetically engineered corn that produces a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) protein which, in turn produces a toxin called Cry1Ab. This GM corn was originally designed to address a pest called the European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) and went on the market in 1996.

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Corn earworm, tobacco budworm management critical for North Carolina farmers

In Southeast Farm Press

By Dominic Reisig, North Carolina Extension Entomologist

Because (North Carolina farmers) won’t be dealing with many kudzu bugs this season, we need to focus our efforts on the other pests that are around.  These include the corn earworm/tobacco budworm, stink bugs and defoliators (loopers, armyworms, etc.).

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It’s time to scout peanuts in Georgia

In Southeast Farm Press

by Mark Abney, University of Georgia entomologist

Spider mites have been reported on a number of crops including vegetables and cotton since this spring, and as conditions continue to be hot and dry in many locations, we are beginning to see populations jump in peanut.

The two spotted spider mite is a challenging pest to control. It thrives in hot, dry conditions where it completes development in as little as seven days at 81 F. Female mites can lay up to 100 eggs over several weeks, so it is easy to see how infestations can go from light to heavy in a very short period of time.

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