Scouting for insects is still important in a home vegetable garden

By Becky Griffin, University of Georgia

Whether you work on a large family farm, in a home vegetable garden, or in a small, community garden vegetable plot, routinely scouting for insects should be an important part of your vegetable-growing plan.

Insect pests can be a costly problem in vegetables. The life cycles of some insect pests are so short that missing just one week of scouting can lead to an increase in pests and damaged crops. Continue reading

Penn State University develops new tool for fruit growers

In Growing Produce

Penn State University Extension reports that Pennsylvania growers will have a valuable tool this growing season. The Network for Environment and Weather Applications (NEWA) IPM Monitoring system, a Cornell University program, is now available for all Pennsylvania growers thanks to funding from State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania Extension Committee. Continue reading

Efficient use of cover crops reduces pests and pesticides

In Corn and Soybean Digest

When transitioning to cover crops, go for encouraging diversity while adopting practices that protect beneficials, but do it with a plan in place, says entomologist Jonathan Lundgren.

  • Monitor cover crops and production crops alike for pests and beneficials.
  • Don’t overreact. Seeing a pest in the field doesn’t mean you have to kill it! In fact that may be a bad business decision.
  • Don’t ignore pests found either. Evaluate for economic thresholds, treat with pest specific products if possible and time application for maximum effectiveness in the pest cycle.
  • Consider interseeding cover crops with production crops, adds Lundgren, offering the pest an alternative food crop and boosting beneficials.
  • Understand pest cycles. Delayed planting may allow overwintering pests to complete their life cycle before emerging plants are at risk.

Cover crops are great for soil health, nutrient sequestration and moisture management. They can also be great havens for insects, as growers who’ve recently adopted cover crops can attest. Continue reading

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

Insect scouting tips for soybean growers

In Southeast Farm Press

by Katie Nichols

For growers working to save soybean crops in the field, Alabama Cooperative Extension System entomologist Dr. Tim Reed has some insect scouting tips.

Cutworms
Cutworms are large, greasy worms that may be difficult to see. These insects burrow into the soil during the day and come to the surface to feed at night. These worms can hide underneath the residue between rows—especially in cover crop residues. Continue reading

Target Spot in Cotton – How to identify it and management options

by Heather Marie Kelly, Extension Plant Pathologist, University of Tennessee

As cotton gets closer to blooming, scouts should be on the lookout for target spot and defoliation starting in the lower canopy.

The warm, wet weather the Mid-South has been experiencing could promote target spot in cotton fields, especially those fields that saw the disease in 2016 and are irrigated. Additional factors that increase target spot risk include higher planting rates, excessive N rates, narrow row spacing, vigorous growth, as well as hot, humid weather. Some facts about target spot: Continue reading

Scouting is critical in areas with a lot of rain

In Delta Farm Press

by Olivia McClure

Recent wet weather has been conducive to disease problems in Louisiana rice, and frequent rains are hampering plants’ recovery from issues that normally are not considered serious.

Farmers heard the news at a field day held June 14 at the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station South Farm in Crowley. Continue reading

South Plains bug scout school set May 25 in Lubbock

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

The South Plains Scout School conducted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will be May 25 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 1102 E. Farm-to-Market Road 1294, Lubbock.

Dr. Suhas Vyavhare, AgriLife Extension entomologist at Lubbock, said registration is at 8 a.m. followed by the program from 8:30 a.m. until noon. Continue reading

LSU demonstrates what drones can do for agriculture

In Delta Farm Press

Drones can provide an aerial view of a crop’s progress and health, but they won’t replace scouting fields on foot, LSU AgCenter researchers advised at a March 16 drone workshop held at the AgCenter Dean Lee Research Station.

Dennis Burns, LSU AgCenter county agent in Tensas Parish, said insects can’t be detected by air unless crop damage is extensive. “The images are only going to show so much.” 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.