Wayne County IPM Notes from May 24th – May 28th

Agronomic Crops

Parasitic wasp cocoon, easily identifiable by the gold ring around the center of the cocoon.

Alfalfa fields are currently at various stages of growth and development, as well as mixed between first and second cutting. Our scouts are keeping an eye out for the arrival of the potato leaf hopper while still consistently scouting for the alfalfa weevil larva. Interesting to note with regards to the alfalfa weevil larva, we have been finding increasing numbers of parasitic wasp cocoons. These wasp prey on the larvae and in large enough numbers help to manage larvae populations.

Corn was spiking in a few fields, and yet to emerge in others. We have not yet observed any emerged soybeans in our scouting, although, we anticipate that many fields will be planted and emerged in the next week or so.

Vegetable Crops

            This week proved to be ideal conditions for a lot of insect pests to find their way onto various vegetable crops. In cucurbits, we began seeing an increasing number of cucumber beetles. These populations should be monitored closely, especially as early plantings are flowering, and likely growing out of

Aphids feeding on Pepper leaves.

any seed treatment, and new transplants are being planted.

Aphid populations in crops such as peppers and tomatoes rapidly increased within the last week. We saw firsthand very significant populations of aphids feeding on these plants, as well as others. Make sure to scout carefully for aphids, as left unchecked can rapidly multiply and given enough time, can stunt young transplants due to their feeding.

Flea beetles were active in cole crops again this week. They were also feeding in potatoes and eggplant plantings as well.

Many vegetable transplants that were planted within the last week or so experienced transplant shock and heat stress, especially if planted into black plastic on hot, sunny days. Most of these plants will be fine but may look poor or stunted for a period of time.

Aphids feeding on Tomato leaves, Tommy Becker photo.

Small Fruit and Orchards

            In apples and peaches, insect activity seems to be picking up. Codling moth trap counts in apple orchards this past week showed small increases, whereas the Oriental Fruit Moth traps in peach orchards show the most rapid increase. In the southern end of our scouting range, our counts were over threshold. Also in peaches, we have detected increased activity from both the lesser and greater Peach Tree Borer.

Guttation on a strawberry leaf, Tommy Becker photo.

Strawberries are coming into production. Early season, or high tunnel berries have been in harvest for the last week or two, with relatively problem free berries, other than the occasional slug or two. We still have yet to find any significant number of thrips in strawberry blossoms, often finding none, or just a single thrips in a bloom.

Other small fruit, like blueberries, are in fruit development. Brambles are either in bloom or have some fruit starting to develop.

Grape shoots are extending, and the plants are nearing the immediate pre-bloom stage. This is a critical time to be spraying to manage black rot.

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