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Crop Disease Update – Notes from Dr. Bob Kemerait

Soybean rust has been confirmed in sentinel plots in Tift County and Toombs County. Soybean growers with good yield potential should strongly consider spraying a fungicide if the soybeans are between R3 (early pod stage) and R6 (full seed stage).

Conditions are favorable for target spot to develop in cotton. Growers should scout cotton between first and sixth week of bloom for target spot. There are quite a few fungicides labeled for treating target spot. If there are questions about fungicide options, give us a call.

Due to recent weather and wet field conditions, many peanut fungicide sprays have been delayed. At this time, much of the peanut crop is approaching 60+ days after planting. If earlier sprays have been delayed or missed, it is likely that leaf spot and white mold are active in the field. Leaf spot materials to be considered in this situation must be both curative and protective, and a robust white mold material should be considered. Fungicide application should be immediate and aggressive in choice of fungicide(s).

Insect Update

Hay producers have not had great conditions for cutting and baling hay, but are doing their best between rain events. Bermuda grass stem maggot has been more active in hay fields recently. Treatment should be applied at 7-10 days after cutting to help reduce damage and yield loss in the new growth. Also, be scouting hay fields for fall armyworms (FAWs). There have been some reports of them in the area. Armyworms can devastate a field in a short period of time, so watch the fields closely.

In pecans, area orchards have had spittlebugs and aphids. Some of those have been treated as growers were making the regular fungicide sprays. Another pest to be aware of is the pecan weevil. This pest usually emerges from the soil as early as late July or early August. If an orchard or section of an orchard has a history of pecan weevils, monitor for them. Pecan weevils are usually not a widespread problem in orchards. If you have questions about these pests, give us a call and we can discuss.

As corn in the county is beginning to mature and dry down, stink bugs will likely be moving out of the corn into peanut and cotton fields. Cotton scouts should be checking for stink bug damage in susceptible bolls. For more information on stink bug scouting and thresholds, see the July 2, 2021 blog post and scroll down to the insect update.

Peanut and soybean growers should be looking for foliage feeders in the crop. Up until now, we have not seen too many caterpillars in either of these, but as the fruit/pods develop, usually the population will increase. Some foliage feeding is acceptable, but follow damage and/or insect thresholds for treatment.

If there is anything we can help you with at Worth County Extension, please let us know.