Notes from the Pumpkin Patch – June 26

The seasonal pattern of too wet to do any field work has relented to extremely dry conditions given the past week of temperatures in the 90’s. I managed to get caught up on planting the last of my trials, side dressing those trials with emerged plants and applying herbicides in anticipation of rain.

Perhaps the biggest pest to note over the past week was Squash Vine Borer becoming active in Greene and Coshocton counties (https://u.osu.edu/jasinski.4/pestvisualization/#linkj). This pest can cause some plant loss if active in fields (egg laid on stem, hatches into caterpillar which bore into the plant stem and can no longer be successfully treated) but usually not more than five percent of plants are infested. In prior years I have seen losses up to 30% in some of my research plots.

Squash vine borer adult on pumpkin leaf.

One way to determine if this pest is active near your field is to observe a large purple and orange moth flying around the field, but the best way is to use a pheromone trap. Once increases in trap catches are seen, 2-3 applications toward the base of the plant every 7-10 days is an effective control measure. Foliar insecticide options are listed in the Midwest Vegetable Production Guide (https://mwveguide.org/guide). I produced a short video on monitoring and treatment options as an overview on the OSU IPM YouTube site (https://youtu.be/KIHeMtkF98Y).

SVB pheromone trap.

Not much other pest activity to note at the research station but it was obvious to see while working around the various trials which hybrids had been treated with FarMore FI400 and which ones were not based on their Striped cucumber beetle feeding levels. I also saw my first Spotted cucumber beetle of the season this past week.

Spotted cucumber beetle.

Spotted cucumber beetle.

Keep an eye out for the third major early season pest, Squash bug, which should be making an appearance soon.

Squash bug adult.

Squash bug eggs.

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