Three cornered alfalfa hopper, two spotted spider mite, foliage feeding caterpillars, potato leaf hopper, and lesser cornstalk borer…we have some of all of them, and growers across the state have been treating problem fields. It is important to note that caterpillar populations are variable, and not all fields will need to be treated.
A recent report from our friends in Florida indicated that armyworm populations are very high in nearly all susceptible crops including peanut. Large populations in Florida do not automatically mean future problems for Georgia growers, but we should be aware that moths could be moving into the state over the next few weeks.
Spider mites are widespread right now but also vary from field to field. Scouting fields and catching spider mite infestations before they become severe will greatly improve the outcome of miticide applications.
For those who need to treat spider mites, thorough coverage of the foliage is critical to achieving good control. This may require spray volumes higher than some growers are accustom to using. Comite® and Comite® II labels call for 20 gallons/acre and 5 gallons/acre for ground and aerial applications respectively. Also be aware that two applications may/will be needed to clean up spider mite infestations as the eggs are not effectively controlled. I do not normally recommend the use of a pyrethroid for spider mite control. Pyrethroids will reduce mite populations for a short time, but resurgence within a couple weeks is common. Infestations after the resurgence are often higher than the initial population; the reason(s) for this phenomenon is not fully understood.
Irrigated fields that are watered adequately are at reduced risk of two spotted spider mite and lesser cornstalk borer infestations.
It is now possible to subscribe to peanut insect updates from the UGA Peanut Entomology Program. Go to http://site.extension.uga.edu/peanutent/ to sign up to receive pest alerts and information via email.