Improve Your Insect Management
Early season scouting should focus on thrips damage and possible soil insects such as white grubs, which affect plant stand.
The focus of mid-season scouting should be on foliage feeders such as cutworms and corn earworms. Also, look for damage caused by leafhoppers and three-cornered alfalfa hoppers.
For the mid-to-late season, especially during pegging, look for soil insects or damage to pegs and pods. Lesser cornstalk borers are often found in hot-dry weather, and velvetbean caterpillar can quickly defoliate the crop.
Insecticide application decisions should be made on a field-by-field basis and used only when a threshold has been reached.
• Take enough samples – at least 10 per field – to cover all field borders and interior areas that might have different soil types or growth habits.
• Sample to include 2 to 3 linear foot of row, and brush down or shake plants to dislodge foliage-feeding worms.
• Pull back vines to identify and count any caterpillars that are present.
• Look on the underside of lateral limbs for webs or holes where LCBs might be feeding.
• Check pegs and developing pods in the sample area.
• Inspect foliage and/or stems for leafhoppers, spider mites or three-cornered alfalfa hopper damage.