Your Insect Management Program
Insect pests can reduce yield, quality and profit. However, it is not easy to know how many is too many insects. A few may not cause much damage, but add a few more and they could start limiting yields. Typically, fields should be treated when insects reach or exceed established thresholds. These thresholds vary by state, and each grower must also decide how many insects are tolerable before treatment is necessary. It is important to remember that insects can vector certain diseases, such as Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus. Also, for plants that are stressed, a lower treatment threshold should be used.
Tips For Improving Your Program:
• Know the weather conditions that favor outbreaks. Hot, dry conditions are preferred by lesser cornstalk borers; wet periods favor southern corn rootworm.
• Make foliar insecticide decisions on a field-by-field basis. Use insecticides only when necessary. High-risk situations may justify preventative applications to control thrips or soil insects.
Weigh Insecticide Decisions Carefully
New Pests Have Become Troublesome
The third pest is the burrower bug, a cousin of the stinkbug. When pods begin to develop, they burrow around them and “sting” the peanut seed, leaving damage only evident when it is shelled and the skin removed.
Scouting peanut fields on a regular basis throughout the season is the surest way to identify what insect pests are present and when they reach treatable levels.