Friday, August 27, 2010

Moth Flights of Important Field Crops Pests Increase Dramatically

Fall armyworm moth counts have sky rocketed!

Capture of fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) moths has sky rocketed as indexed by the UK-IPM pheromone baited traps at the UK-REC in Princeton, KY.(Fortunately this does not seem to be the situation in Lexington.) Last week (20 Aug 2010) our capture was a normal, 52 moths/trapweek; today’s count (27 Aug 2010) is 1,038 moths/trapweek! Please view the graphs at: http://www.uky.edu/Ag/IPMPrinceton/counts/fall/fawgraph.htm. Because our trapping network captures the adult moths, we have a heads up on the caterpillar (damaging stage) population that will occur in several weeks. This is the largest capture of FAW in ca. 15 years of trapping and is almost three times larger than the second largest single capture. See more information in Kentucky Pest News of Aug 31, 2010.

Corn earworm (aka soybean podworm) moth flight increases dramatically.

Capture of adult corn earworm (CEW) moths in the UK-IPM pheromone baited traps at Princeton, KY has increased dramatically. The total capture of CEW moths for the week ending 27 August 2010 was 484, up from 82 on Aug 20th. This is the second largest capture of CEW moths in the ca. 18 years of monitoring, with the largest being 525 moths / trapweek in August 2001. This is not as dramatic an increase as we are experiencing with fall armyworm, nevertheless it is pretty unusual. (See: Fall armyworm moth counts have sky rocketed! in Kentucky Pest News 31 Aug 2010).

It is too late in the season for corn earworm to be of any importance on corn, but this pest also feeds on the pods of soybean, especially late maturing varieties. Caterpillars (the damaging stage) resulting from these moths will begin to appear in 1-2 weeks. Those individuals involved in soybean production should scout their fields for the presence of this insect. Corn earworm can be especially damaging because it feeds directly on the pods and seeds. Additionally, it is difficult to scout as it does not feed to any great extent on soybean leaves. One has to get into the plants and look directly at the pods to find this pest.

Kentucky Pest News can be viewed at: http://www.ca.uky.edu/agcollege/plantpathology/extension/kpnindex.htm

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