A website from UGA Cooperative Extension

Local News for 4-H, Agriculture, and Family and Consumer Science

Here is a short article by Dr. Mark Abney, UGA Peanut Entomologist about the importance of early season scouting.

The recent advent of hotter and drier weather has brought with it the first reports of lesser cornstalk borers (LCB) in Georgia peanut fields. I have also gotten a number of calls and texts over the last 10 days about foliage feeding caterpillars at or near threshold. I have not personally identified any of the caterpillars, but they are most likely tobacco budworm. A study conducted in Mississippi suggested that early season defoliation (40 days after emergence) up to 100% has little or no impact on peanut maturity or yield. Nevertheless, I am not a fan of letting tobacco budworm eat all the leaves off my peanuts, and it doesn’t take many caterpillars per foot to cause significant defoliation when peanuts haven’t lapped the row middles.

I don’t think anyone is excited about the idea of wasting money on this year’s peanut crop. Proper scouting on a weekly basis will provide the information needed to make good pest management decisions. Research clearly shows that missing an early season infestation of LCB can result in major impacts to peanut yield and quality, but treating fields where the pest is not present is a waste of time and money. Both are mistakes that will rob growers of profit in a year when profit may be hard to come by. It doesn’t take much time to scout peanuts that are less than 50 days old, and growers without a consultant or scout are encouraged to take some time this week to check fields for potential pest problems.

The video in this link provides tips from UGA for scouting LCB in early season peanuts https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAtivdqATV0

Posted in: