Wayne County IPM Notes from the Week of August 2 – August 6

Agronomic Crops

All of the corn that we are scouting is now at least R1. It is important to keep an eye out for pests like Japanese beetles or northern corn rootworm beetles that can cause damage to the crop by feeding on and clipping the silks. Clipped silks can significantly reduce the amount of successful pollination.

Soybeans are starting into pod development. At this time of year, insect pests like stink bugs and bean leaf beetles can cause pod and seed damage, which directly impacts yields. The forecasted hot and dry weather will be favorable for large populations of spider mites showing up in fields.

This is an important time of year to have adequate moisture, for corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. Corn and soybeans need adequate moisture for complete ear and pod fill, respectively. After recent cuttings, alfalfa fields are slow to put on significant regrowth, which can lead to concerns with potato leaf hopper feeding.

Vegetable Crops

We are still continuing to find new infections of downy mildew, and increasingly more frequent in younger plantings of cucumbers. It is highly recommended to treat your cucumbers for downy mildew, especially in plantings where harvest is not expected to start for several more weeks.

Powdery mildew is slowly but surely spreading onto more area pumpkin patches and squash plantings. If you have plantings of squash that you are done picking in, it would be best to terminate these plantings to reduce the amount of inoculum that is present, especially if younger plants are nearby.

A lot of area growers are still struggling with bacterial diseases in tomatoes and peppers and root rots like pythium and phytophthora in pepper plantings. The warm and damp conditions that we experienced during July are partially to blame for rapid onset of many of these diseases. Hot and dry weather, however, can help to slow the spread of bacterial diseases.

Small Fruit and Orchards

We are finding Spotted Wing Drosophila in the traps that we have set out in peach blocks. While peaches are not a preferred host for SWD, some damaged and infested fruit can still occur. To the best of your ability as a grower, it’s a good practice to pick frequently and keep the ground around the trees clean. Culled fruit provides a food source and suitable habitat for many pests and diseases and removing the cull fruit can help prevent or reduce the severity of issues. Codling moth counts continued to increase this week. Oriental fruit moth counts in our traps continued to decline. In grapes, we are finding consistent catches of the grape berry moth.

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