Some much needed rain made its way through our area this week. Unfortunately, the extended forecast shows a return to a dry pattern. Nonetheless, we are thankful for the moisture that gave some relief for drought stressed crops. Insect pressure has become the leading concern in corn and soy. Japanese beetles are out in force and feeding, in some cases heavily. Other insect pressure can be found via feeding from European corn borer larvae, young grasshoppers, and other various foliar feeding pests. Disease pressure at this point is relatively light at this time.
The warm temperatures and accumulated heat units have kept our insect pests active and building in population. Cucumber beetles, squash bugs and squash vine borer were all active this week in squash plantings and fields. Additionally in squash, we noted our first sighting of powdery mildew in an area of first planting summer squash.
The warm and sunny days have also led to some challenges with sun scald. Unfortunately, the heavy winds and rains from the storms had pushed plants over, which allowed for the first set of vegetables, such as peppers or tomatoes, to be exposed to full sun and extreme heat.
Growers with cole crops may still be battling flea beetle and imported cabbage worms. Significant egg laying from the cabbage white butterflies gives us the heads up to scout our cucurbit crops very closely to watch for hatching eggs and early instar larvae.
Generally, the Japanese beetles have begun their entrance into a wide range of vegetable crops. In some cases, isolated feeding damage may severely damage the foliage and stunt young plants. Frequent scouting can help you make timely management decisions, therefore avoiding significant damage from the Japanese beetles.
Small Fruit and Orchards
European red mites were found in apples and peaches this week, and in a few cases, the populations had reached significant levels, with severe feeding damage present on the foliage. As was the case in vegetable crops, the Japanese beetles feeding on orchard trees and small fruit plants started to cause some significant defoliation.
Spotted wing drosophila were found in all of our traps. Accordingly, small fruit growers should be aware that we are now fully into SWD season.
Fire blight in apples has been our main disease concern to this point. We did note a few cases of apple scab on leaves in some orchards around the area.
Overall, fruit development in orchards and small fruit production areas is coming along nicely and should be greatly benefited by the timely rains.