I was talking with a few producers last week about fall armyworms in their bermudagrass pastures. Although not to a treatable level for us yet, they have been in other areas here in South Georgia. Dr. Hancock, UGA Extension Forage Specialist, and I discussed the pest pressures in Grady and Tift county as being at treatable levels. He also mentioned that the threshold for fall armyworms is 3 larvae ( 1/2 inch or longer) per square foot. Below is a link to the UGA
Pest Management Handbook 2014 Commercial Edition with labeled control options.
Another pest we need to keep an eye out for is the Bermudagrass Stem Maggot. They have been found in low levels in both Lowndes and Washington Counties. Dr. Will Hudson, UGA Extension Entomologist, has been working with Dr. Hancock to better understand the Bermudagrass Stem Maggot and its economic importance for Georgia forage producers. More information about this pest can be found at http://www.caes.uga.edu/commodities/fieldcrops/forages/documents/2014BSMatAFGC.pdf
The take home message for us is to continue to scout our fields for these pests as they are certainly something that can rob us of valuable hay and profits. If you have any further questions, contact your local county extension agent.