Time to scout for peanut pests

by Mark Abney, University of Georgia

Things have been relatively quiet in terms of insect pressure in most peanut fields so far in 2017, but that could change quickly.

I have been getting reports of heavy caterpillar pressure in some areas of Florida, and agents and consultants are reporting that a mixed bag of loopers, velvetbean and other caterpillars have shown up in Georgia over the last week. I strongly encourage growers to scout their peanuts and only make insecticide applications when caterpillars reach the economic threshold. Continue reading

New University of Georgia project addresses peanut burrower bug

In Southeast Farm Press

by Brad Haire, Southeast Farm Press

Peanut farmers who personally don’t know the peanut burrower bug are fortunate. Growers who’ve battled the yield- and quality-reducing pest know something needs to be done to control it, and those growers can help find answers.

A Georgia-based research project will hit the high-gears in 2017 to develop an index growers can use to gauge their risk for the pest and implement better ways to defend against it. Continue reading

Lack of rain means more cornstalk borers in peanuts

In Georgia FACES

by Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

A lack of rain or cooler weather this summer means more calls for University of Georgia peanut entomologist Mark Abney regarding lesser cornstalk borers.

Because Georgia has suffered through droughtlike conditions all summer, granular insecticide treatments in nonirrigated peanuts are ineffective due to the need for rain to soak the chemical into the soil. Without rain, those peanuts are susceptible to the pest, which can cause significant damage to the crop. Continue reading

Peanut pests are out – here’s how to manage them

In Southeast Farm Press

by Andrew Sawyer, University of Georgia Extension – Thomas County

July is when the most serious insect problems in peanuts show up. We need to watch for threecornered alfalfa hoppers, foliage feeding caterpillars, lesser cornstalk borers, two spotted spider mites, and potato leaf hoppers and anything else that may hang out in a peanut field. Continue reading

Economic thresholds save farmers money

By Kenzie Kesselring, University of Georgia

University of Georgia entomologist Mark Abney is searching for ways to monitor insects responsible for destroying Georgia peanut crops. This is the first step in developing economic thresholds that will indicate to farmers when it’s time to apply controls for each pest and when it’s time to cut losses.

Currently, Abney and his team are focusing on the threecornered alfalfa hopper, but they also hope to establish thresholds for the burrower bug and the twospotted spider mite in the distant future. For each, they hope to develop an economic threshold, or a point when the insect population reaches a level at which farmers should take action to prevent the pest population from affecting their profit margin. Continue reading