by AgFax Media LLC, AgFax.com
Insect activity has increased across portions of the Southeast in corn, soybeans and grain sorghum. Nobody is talking about runaway situations, but upticks are reported with a variety of worms and bugs.
Pigweed remains a nagging problem. Plenty of our contacts this season have reported dealing with escapes, mainly where conditions turned dry and no rain fell to activate herbicides.
Rainfall and soil moisture are a mixed bag. In the lower Southeast some corn fields are less than 2 weeks from black layer.
Sebe Brown, Northeast Louisiana Region Extension Entomologist:
"Reports are filtering in about fall armyworms in soybeans. We can't say on a blanket basis if it's the corn strain or the grass strain. In some cases soybeans are infested but there's no grass around as a source, so we suspect these are the corn strain, and you can't control those with pyrethroids. But we're also hearing about cases where grass was burned down and the worms moved onto soybeans, so that may be the grass strain.
"Stink bugs are picking up and more treatments are going out. Treatments for redbanded are still mostly being made in central and south Louisiana. Nobody is spraying them in our northeast parishes, although we're catching large numbers in alternate hosts.
"I'm getting scattered reports of corn earworms (CEW) in soybeans, although nothing widespread. But with corn drying down, CEW will be moving. A flight is underway, so they could move into susceptible soybeans, cotton or grain sorghum.
"Growers are still treating sugarcane aphids (SCA) in grain sorghum, mainly in south and central parishes. A smattering of worms – web worms, fall armyworms and corn earworms – are turning up in some grain sorghum and treatments are being made."
Will Scott, Regional Agronomist, Louisiana and South Mississippi, Pinnacle Ag, Inc., Cleveland, Mississippi:
"Loopers in general are starting to pick up in soybeans, although the numbers aren't big yet. We're going to carry some weeds to harvest in soybeans where we didn't get rain to activate the first residual and where the over-the-top treatments didn't fully take out escapes."
Steve Schutz, Ind. Consultant, Coushatta, Louisiana:
"We're spraying a limited number of soybean acres for a varying mix of insects. On 200 to 300 acres that includes redbanded stink bugs. I hate to see them because we've got to go with something harder. Those beans are at R5. We're also finding treatable levels of bollworms in some fields at R2 to R3. Bollworms, in general, are making me a little nervous because a lot of fields are at a quarter-threshold and the threshold is only 8 in 25 sweeps. So, they could quickly get away from you.
"Our oldest corn is at soft dough. I'm coming across some late northern corn leaf blight. I'm really not worried because that corn is at or close to dent. We still have some younger corn planted after the flood. It's just tasseling, so disease remains a concern there."
Ashley Peters, Peters Crop Consulting, Crowville, Louisiana:
"Corn is on the downhill side, although we're seeing more disease this week than we have all year. I found a little southern rust in corn and it seems like I'm spotting a little more leaf blight every week, too. Corn has been denting for a while, so we should be able to outrun this. We're probably 2 to 3 weeks from several fields reaching black layer. Some fungicide went out this week on soybeans."