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Extension Entomology

Tag: soybean podworms

Corn Update

–by Dr. Jeff Whitworth and Dr. Holly Schwarting

Have received several inquiries relative to corn earworms in field corn and there does seem to be a good infestation of them throughout north central Kansas.  100% of the ears we have randomly checked currently are, or have recently been, infested with corn earworm larvae.

Many of these larvae are still relatively small and thus will be feeding for another week or two.  The two most common questions received this week relative to these pests are; 1) Will a rescue treatment work?  The answer – no.  Once the larvae have hatched from eggs deposited on the silks and moved into the husk, they will be protected from contact insecticides.

 

 

2) Will they re-infest these corn ears?  The answer – no.  Field corn will be too tough by the time these larvae finish feeding, pupate in the soil, emerge as adults, mate, oviposit, hatch, and larvae initiate feeding.  But, the adults of this generation will move to soybeans (soybean podworms) and/or sorghum (sorghum headworms) to oviposit and larvae can do considerable damage by feeding on soybeans within the pods and/or directly on the kernels of the heads of sorghum plants.  So, the larvae currently in corn are the “spring board” for the next generations moving into soybeans and sorghum.

 

Soybean Pest Update

— by Dr. Jeff Whitworth and Dr. Holly Schwarting

Green Cloverworms in Soybeans

Remember a few weeks ago when there was considerable concern relative to all the green cloverworms causing irregular holes in leaves? Even skeletonizing some areas of some fields until treated with an insecticide and/or and entomopathogenic fungus started decimating the larval populations?   Well, the surviving larvae pupated and now are annoying little aerodynamically shaped dark brown moths flying around lights at night or trying to get in through doors and windows.

gcw-close

gcw-defol

gcw-fungus

gcw-adult

These moths will mate and then begin ovipositing in soybean and/or alfalfa fields.  Eggs hatch in approximately 10-14 days and the larvae will again start feeding on leaves of either crop.  By this time of year, the larval feeding is usually of little consequence relative to yield.  However, really late planted soybeans, and all alfalfa fields, should be closely monitored to ensure leaf feeding in either crop does not affect pod fill in soybeans or leaf area in alfalfa.

 

Soybean Podworms

These insect pests seem to be on about the same developmental schedule as green cloverworms.  So, late planted soybeans may be at risk for bean feeding within the pods.

cew-adult

cew-pod-damage

 

Adult bean leaf beetles, while probably not as numerous as in past years, may still be feeding on the pods themselves.  This can cause yield reductions.  For more information on bean leaf beetle biology and control, please visit: https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF2824.pdf

blb-adult

blb-feeding-pod

Woollybear Larvae

Another leaf feeder that can cause concern this time of year is woollybear caterpillars.  There are several different species but all are foliage feeders although they rarely cause any economic problems.

woollybear-white

woollybear-orange

 

Stink Bugs

Hopefully, most soybeans are past the stages that are succulent enough for stink bugs to be feeding on.  However, there are still some late planted beans setting pods with seeds that may be vulnerable to stink bug feeding.  So, until pods are turning yellow or brown, fields probably should continue to be monitored for soybean podworms, adult bean leaf beetles, and stink bugs.

green-stink-bug

Soybean Pest Update

–by Dr. Jeff Whitworth and Dr. Holly Schwarting

What a difference a few days makes in the world of insects!  Two weeks ago, and prior, there were very few insect pests in soybeans throughout north central and south central Kansas.  Now, most soybean fields are loaded, with more coming all the time.  Some of the insects common to soybean fields throughout north central, south central, and south east Kansas right now are as follows:

Dectes stem borer adults. These have been actively depositing eggs in petioles for a few weeks although populations seem somewhat reduced compared to the past few years.  Larval tunneling within the petiole and resultant petiole death has not yet become very apparent.

Dectes

Bean leaf beetle adults. These feed on the leaves, usually causing mostly round or oblong holes, which are of little consequence.  However, these same adults can also feed on the pods which may damage the bean inside and thus cause significant yield reductions.

bean leaf beetle feeding

Bean leaf beetle

bean leaf beetle pod feeding

“Worms”. There are also significant numbers of a variety of “worms” or caterpillars in most soybean fields.  These include various stages of yellowstriped armyworms, which may feed on the leaves but not enough to impact plant health or yield.

yellowstriped armyworm

There are also numerous green cloverworms, which are also leaf feeders.  These are the “inchworms” that wiggle like crazy when disturbed.

green cloverworm_feeding

They are usually highly susceptible to a fungus that turn infected larvae white and decimates the population rapidly over large areas.  Green cloverworms may cause a great deal of concern because of the defoliation they cause, but rarely are they any real detriment to the plant.  However, make sure to properly identify the worms as there are also corn earworms, aka soybean podworms, which may be mistaken for green cloverworms.

Soybean podworm

Soybean podworms will feed on leaves but more worrisome is when they start feeding on the developing seeds within the pods.  Two or three pods fed on per plant may justify control if there are still larvae in the field.  Otherwise, they may have pupated and treatment should be delayed until sampling indicates the next generation of larvae is actively feeding on seeds within pods.

Alfalfa caterpillars are also feeding on leaves and adding to the worm variety but will not cause any detrimental impact on yield.

alfalfa caterpillar and green cloverworm

Sorghum

–by Dr.  Jeff Whitworth and Dr. Holly Schwarting

Sorghum is in various stages of development around NC Kansas. The late planted, which seems to be just in the whorl stage- to soft dough, or even farther along. Corn earworms (often called sorghum headworms/soybean podworms etc., depending upon the crop infested) are causing significant infestations and therefore concern because of the highly visible whorl feeding and subsequent “ragged”-looking leaves as they expand from the whorl. This feeding probably will have no effect on yield, and by the time the damage is noticed the worms are mostly finished feeding anyway. Therefore, treatment is rarely justified. Feeding on the kernels however which is the marketable product is a different story. Sampling for head-feeding worms is really relatively easy. Just take a small white bucket, bend the head over into the bucket and vigorously shake it against the sides of the bucket which dislodges the larvae. Then count the worms and divide into the number of heads sampled.

Sorghum headworms_small

Rule of thumb: kernel-feeding larvae cause 5% loss/worm/head. Sorghum heads are most vulnerable from flowering to soft dough. These larvae are relatively susceptible to insecticides so efficacy is usually pretty good. However, these insecticides will reduce beneficial insect populations which can help later if any aphid populations develop.

Sorghum hedworm_single

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