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Mid-July Pest Update

There continue to be lesser cornstalk borers (LCB) in Georgia peanut fields, and I do not see any reason that should change over the next few weeks. Interestingly, most of the heavy pressure has not been in the Southwest but in the middle and eastern portions of South GA. I expect that some of the infestations we were seeing in irrigated fields prior to the vines covering the row middles will be diminishing as irrigation water is applied with greater frequency.

I have not received a call about two spotted spider mite on peanut in 2016, but I am betting it is coming soon. Mites have been hanging around on cotton now for several weeks, and with continued hot, dry conditions I think we will be seeing mites move into peanut fields. If this happens, it is going to create a lot of headaches for growers, Extension agents, and crop consultants. First, we need to catch mite infestations early to have any chance of getting good control. Second, with the one miticide available for use in peanut (Comite) we need to use a minimum of 20 gallons of water per acre, and two applications may be needed because egg mortality is low. Third, the yield potential of some of our non-irrigated peanut acres is rapidly deteriorating; knowing when to pull the plug on inputs in these fields is going to be difficult, and most growers will be reluctant to “give up” on the crop. When making treatment decisions, we need to be realistic about the crop we already have set and our potential to add harvestable pods to it. I say and write this a lot, but we need to be sure to avoid pyrethroid insecticides in fields where spider mites are present or in fields at high risk for mites (hot and dry) in areas where mites have been found in surrounding fields. There are a couple pyrethroids that will suppress mites, but “suppression followed by resurgence” is a better description of what usually happens.

Rain tends to be the best treatment for LCB and spider mites, but a single rainfall event will not eliminate either of these pests once they are established in a field.

Other insects that you can find in peanut fields right now include: potato leaf hopper, threecornered alfalfa hopper, various caterpillars, burrower bugs, and garden fleahoppers. You can check the “categories” section to the right of this post to locate and read older posts about these and other pests that might be of interest.

As always, you can contact your local UGA County Extension agent for more information about insect and mite management in peanut.