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Archive for the ‘Monitoring’ Category

Brassica Alert better targets agronomy decisions

Farming Online

06 Jul 2022

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Agronomy / Arable

Brassica crop growers and agronomists now have the chance to better tailor disease and pest control programmes to specific threats this season, with the more advanced and targeted Brassica Alert monitoring and forecasting decision support tool.

Created and managed by the Allium & Brassica Centre, sponsored by Syngenta, Brassica Alert now utilises new more sophisticated pheromone trapping and monitoring of early pest presence, coupled to disease spore trapping and powerful weather modelling, to provide real-time risk assessments.  

Brassica Alert gives traffic-light style warning for impending risk of ringspot and white blister, along with major pests, thrip, diamond back moth and silver Y moth.  Growers and agronomist can opt to receive text updates to view the latest reports on the Syngenta website.  

Early season reports had seen a low initial risk of ringspot in dry conditions, but high-risk warning for white blister, which requires only limited leaf wetness to develop. Silver Y moth had been identified at red warning high-risk populations on 90% of monitoring sites across the eastern counties, however thrip and diamond back moth were at low numbers.

Carl Sharp of the Allium & Brassica Centre said: “Brassica Alert has allowed growers the flexibility of going from what was an industry-standard fixed spray interval disease control programme, to targeted applications choosing products most suitable at the time of application.

“In our independent trials has shown that two targeted fungicide applications indicated by Brassica Alert, gave comparative disease control, marketable yield and quality as using the standard four to five spray programme.

“The combination of climatic data and spore trapping has given consistent results with regards to reliability,” he added.

Syngenta digital agronomy specialist, Ed Flint, highlighted Brassica Alert has proven the potential for forecasting tools to help growers better target treatments and strengthen decision making.

“The greatest benefit comes when you start to couple decision support tools together,” he advocated.

“Growers who use Brassica Alert in combination with Syngenta Spray Assist, for example, can identify appropriate spray window opportunities for application timing ahead of pest or disease outbreaks – along with advice on the optimum application technique for the intended target, to get the best results possible.”

Brassica Alert is particularly well suited for preventative brassica fungicide programmes including Amistar Top and Plover, along with pest control programmes including Hallmark Zeon and Minecto One.   

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Pine weevil monitoring system in development for forestry sector

 By Gemma Mackie

July 1 2022, 10.45am0

  • The Courier
Pine Weevils are estimated to cost the UK forestry industry around £5m a year.
Pine Weevils are estimated to cost the UK forestry industry around £5m a year.

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A new remote monitoring system is being developed to tackle a major pest in the forestry sector – pine weevils.

A consortium of bodies is working to create a system that will allow land managers to identify and quantify the presence of pine weevils in commercial forests across the country.

The pests are a major challenge for the forestry sector, especially in the first five years of a tree’s life, and they have proven particularly destructive to seedlings of pine and spruce – species commonly grown for the UK’s softwood timber market.

Estimates suggest they cost the forestry industry at least £5 million a year and they can destroy an average of 50% of young conifer trees in a plantation if left unmanaged.

The consortium of bodies working on the project are pest management company Sentomol; the Forestry Commission’s research body Forest Research; the National Resources Institute at the University of Greenwich; and CENSIS – Scotland’s innovation centre for sensing, imaging systems and internet of things (IoT) technologies.

They are developing a system where weevil attractants are placed in unique traps, known as Hylopods, and spread across forest sites to attract and catch the insects.

A camera, using machine vision and artificial intelligence techniques, will then count the number of weevils and an alert will be sent to foresters, using a special IoT network, if the area is deemed to be at high risk from the pests.

Pine weevils are a major pest for the forestry sector.

“Pine weevils are a big problem for Scotland’s commercial forests, but the options for managing them have been thin on the ground and heavily chemical pesticide dependent,” said Sentomol director, David Loughlin.

“The system we have built will give land managers the ability to remotely monitor their forests and make more evidence-based decisions, rather than relying on collecting fresh wood piles and regularly manually counting the number of insects they find there.”

Forest Research’s senior research scientist, Roger Moore, said those working in the forestry sector did not want to use insecticides to tackle weevils unless they really had to.

He said: “This system will give us the information we need to make the right decision about managing the problem of pine weevils in our forests as efficiently as possible.

“We successfully trialled an earlier prototype at a couple of sites and now want to roll this technology out more widely.”

A pine weevil on a pine tree.

CENSIS’s director for strategic projects, Stephen Milne, said the system combined a range of different technologies in an exciting way.

He said: “It is bringing together edge-based computing with machine vision and IoT to provide a low-cost remote monitoring capability that can help forestry professionals make more informed decisions.

“Most importantly, it is solving an important real-world problem that affects not only Scotland – where the Scottish Government has set ambitious targets for re-foresting land and growing forestry’s importance to the economy – but also the wider UK and Europe.”

https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/business-environment/farming/3442824/support-for-farmers-to-plant-trees-part-of-national-woodland-strategy/embed/#?secret=uLudvDR5vM#?secret=JPEciE6ZQI

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Arkansas bollworm numbers are up

Matthew Davis, U of A System Division of Agriculture6-13-2022-jacksonco-moth-trap_52186309363_ocopy.jpg

Bollworm moths in a trap in a photo taken July 1, 2022, in Jackson County, Arkansas. Agents and entomologists are seeing higher than usual numbers of these moths.

Bollworm numbers up compared to 2021; farmers urged to scout.

Mary Hightower, U of A System Division of Agriculture | Jul 05, 2022

fps-generic.jpg

If there was one phrase to sum up farming in Arkansas at the start of summer, it would be “keep scouting.”

Surveillance done by Cooperative Extension Service county agents around the state has found bollworm numbers up compared to 2021. Each year, agents post traps, and each month, they count the trapped insects as an indicator of what pests local farmers might expect to see in their fields.

Hungry bollworms can damage soybean pods, corn ears and cotton bolls and squares.

7-1-2022-bollworm-trap-jaxco-img_5121_52185310287_o.jpgExample of an insect trap set by county agents to help get an idea of the quantity of crop pests in a particuar area. This one is in Jackson County, Arkansas. (Matthew Davis, U of A System Division of Agriculture)

“These bollworm numbers have exploded it seems in the past two or three weeks,” said John David Farabough, Desha County extension agent for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “I have traps spread from north to south borders in Desha County and all are running high numbers for this time of year.”

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“Normally, at this time of year, I’m running 100 to 200 moths per trap per week,” he said. Now, “weekly trap counts are running 500 to 800 moths per trap per week.”

Farabough said he typically doesn’t see these numbers until late July or early August “when the corn in the area is drying out and then moths move into soybeans.”

Pretty big flight

“We are experiencing a pretty big bollworm flight. It does appear to be higher trap catches than what we were seeing at this time last year,” said Glenn Studebaker, extension entomologist and integrated pest management coordinator for the Division of Agriculture.

“We are seeing them primarily in soybean and grain sorghum right now, but I expect we will begin to see significant populations in cotton as well,” he said. “Growers need to be diligent in scouting susceptible crops for bollworm at this time.”

Studebaker said some areas are seeing more than 2,000 moths per seven-day catch.

“Reports are coming in of bollworm being found in flowering soybeans,” he said. “Some are picking up six to eight worms per 25 sweep sample in R2 soybeans.”

R2 is a reproductive stage at which soybeans are in full flower.

“Growers are encouraged to keep watch for bollworm larvae in susceptible crops such as soybean, grain sorghum or cotton,” Studebaker said. “It is likely with such high moth catches that we will see increased numbers in these crops.”

Source: University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

TAGS: SOYBEANS SORGHUM

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Bringing tech to crop disease identification

Bringing tech to crop disease identification

Courtesy of IntelinairSmall dot of tar spot on a corn plant

HARD TO SPOT: Catching a crop disease like tar spot early helps control it before it does too much damage. Disease Alert from Intelinair adds thermal imaging to conventional image capture from airplanes, and when combined with machine learning, the system can spot disease areas in fields (like the small dot on this corn plant) and help target spraying and weed control.

The AgMRI platform from Intelinair can help provide an early-warning system for spotting crop diseases.

Willie Vogt | Jul 06, 2022

fps-generic.jpg

Illinois and Indiana farmers will be on the cutting edge of a new technology from Intelinair that can help spot crop diseases early. The company’s AgMRI platform offers Disease Alert, which provides a kind of early warning of trouble in your fields.

The program, which is starting in those two states this year, will expand over time, according to Kevin Krieg, director of product marketing for Intelinair. He shares with Farm Progress about how this disease alert system works and what it brings for farmers who can use it in 2022.

“AgMRI works at the high level of taking in imagery, weather data and machine data together,” he says. The high-resolution remote imagery feeds through a computer system, and machine learning works to understand patterns.

To help detect disease, a thermal camera is used with other imagery and machine learning. “We have this relative temperature detection even when flying over the fields,” he says. “We’re looking at where there’s a good, healthy crop in the field. But if the temperature is higher than the relative temperature of other plants within the field, that’s a sign of trouble,” he says.

The thermal properties show a specific pattern if crop disease is present. “Our engineers built analytics around a lot of different factors, but those are at the high level of an increased temperature with a unique pattern as it’s impacting the plants,” Krieg says. Almost like a fever in humans, those warmer plants are a warning that disease is present, he adds.

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Airplanes at work

Intelinair is using fixed-wing aircraft to fly fields and gather data. The company is primarily in Illinois and Indiana, where it can put those thermal cameras to work. Combined with other imagery, the plant temperature tips off trouble.

As for moving beyond the two-state area? “So the challenge with this is that we need thermal information from a disease perspective,” Krieg says. And while Intelinair has looked at satellite imagery, the airplane-based approach has been most successful for now.

Going forward, he notes that the company is looking at how to bring that same value to other areas and expand it in the future.

Krieg says the system isn’t identifying the disease, but rather the potential for disease presence in a field when those temperature indicators rise. “We don’t know if it’s tar spot or any specific disease,” he notes. “Our whole thing is that we identify an area of the field that has the probability for some disease. Then you scout the field to figure out what it is.”

Tar spot is the attention-grabber right now, and early detection is key to getting control. However, Krieg notes in 2021 during tests, they found soybean rust, brown spot and other diseases. The key was identifying impacted fields earlier for more targeted scouting.

There’s even the potential for more “early warning” as planes fly an area, Krieg says. “We’re not just flying the customer’s field that has signed up for the service; we’re flying the complete area,” he notes. That means if they spot disease potential in a neighboring field, that can be a scouting advantage, too.

“If they’re seeing tar spot in other places or disease setting in, then [the retailer] can start looking at fields that are susceptible to that as well,” Krieg says. “So a neighboring field might have disease — that gives the retailer a cue that it is in the area and to be on heightened alert.”

The value of imagery and machine learning to recognize patterns in imagery can advance a range of crop management practices for disease identification. The more imagery captured and matched with ground truthing through scouting, the better these models will get.

For farmers outside the two-state area, the tech will head farther out as the company works to establish image and data capture systems. You can learn more about the system and what it brings to scouting by visiting intelinair.com.

TAGS: TECHNOLOGY

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 Grahame Jackson/ PestNet

 Sydney NSW, Australia

 For your information

 6 days ago

 0

TAR SPOT, MAIZE – ECUADOR

ProMED
http://www.promedmail.org

Source: Reliefweb, FAO report [summ. Mod.DHA, edited]
https://reliefweb.int/report/ecuador/giews-country-brief-ecuador-15-june-2022
In Ecuador, harvesting of the 2022 main season maize crops is ongoing under favourable weather conditions. Yields are expected to be below average due to low precipitation in key producing provinces. In addition, a fungal disease called tar spot (mancha de asfalto) reportedly affected maize crops, with negative effects on yields.

Communicated by:
ProMED
[Tar spot of maize has been known to lead to serious yield losses of up to 75% in Central and South America. It is considered to be a disease complex involving the synergistic association of at least 3 fungal species: _Phyllachora maydis_, _Microdochium maydis_ (previously _Monographella maydis_) and _Coniothyrium phyllachorae_.

Of these, _P. maydis_ is usually the 1st to cause leaf lesions. While _M. maydis_ is a common benign saprophyte on leaf surfaces, it becomes highly virulent only in association with _P. maydis_ and forms necrotic rings around the _P. maydis_ lesions. _C. phyllachorae_ may be a hyperparasite of the other 2, but its role is not fully understood yet. Leaf lesions may coalesce, causing blight and complete burning of the foliage. In addition, characteristic black shiny spots (“tar spots”) are produced both within lesions and on other leaf areas. Affected ears have fewer kernels which may germinate prematurely on the cob. Weakening of stems may lead to increased lodging. The disease reduces photosynthetic potential and therefore plant vigour.

_P. maydis_ is an obligate parasite; its spores are spread by wind and with infected plant material. It produces a potent toxin killing plant tissue. The disease is favoured by cool, humid conditions. Tar spot management may include fungicide treatments and use of maize varieties with tolerance or low sensitivity to the disease. However, resistance breeding is difficult because of the involvement of multiple pathogens. So far, little is known about the genetics of tar spot resistance.

Maps
Ecuador:
https://www.worldometers.info/img/maps/ecuador_physical_map.gif and
https://images.mapsofworld.com/ecuador/ecuador-political-map.jpg (provinces)
Americas, overview:
https://www.worldofmaps.net/typo3temp/images/karte-nord-und-suedamerika.jpg

Pictures
Tar spot on maize leaves:
https://ipcm.wisc.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2018/12/IMG_0418.jpg and
https://ag.purdue.edu/btny/cdcruzlab/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/TS16-scaled.jpg
Tar spot symptoms on maize ears:
https://www.canr.msu.edu/corn/uploads/images/Tar%20spot%20on%20ear%20-%20cropped.jpg,
http://i.ytimg.com/vi/ErB9pdiXPp4/maxresdefault.jpg and
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4123/4886728754_57fe0982e9_b.jpg

Links
Information on tar spot complex of maize:
https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-02-20-0449-FE,
https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/BP/BP-90-W.pdf,
https://www.agweb.com/news/crops/crop-production/tar-spot-what-you-need-know-about-new-corn-disease,
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266732736_Tar_Spot_Complex_of_Maize_Facts_and_Actions,
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3059.1995.tb01671.x,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErB9pdiXPp4 and
https://www.apsnet.org/publications/phytopathology/backissues/Documents/1992Articles/Phyto82n05_505.PDF
Tar spot information & resources via:
https://www.cimmyt.org/tag/tar-spot-complex/
Recent updates on tar spot in North America:
https://phys.org/news/2022-01-pathologists-collaborate-knowledge-threat-corn.html,
https://www.newfoodmagazine.com/news/161116/plant-pathologists-leading-fight-against-damaging-corn-disease-tar-spot/ and
https://eu.thedailyreporter.com/story/news/2022/02/22/msue-farmer-education-day-focuses-corn-tar-spot-which-hit-michigan/6881223001/
_Phyllachora maydis_ taxonomy:
http://www.indexfungorum.org/Names/NamesRecord.asp?RecordID=167673
_Microdochium maydis_ taxonomy and synonyms:
http://www.indexfungorum.org/Names/NamesRecord.asp?RecordID=811970 and
http://www.speciesfungorum.org/GSD/GSDspecies.asp?RecordID=811970
_Coniothyrium phyllachorae_ taxonomy:
http://www.indexfungorum.org/Names/NamesRecord.asp?RecordID=178431
– Mod.DHA

 Maize

 Tar_spot

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ID fingerprint technology detects specific pests, helps farmers reduce reliance on chemicals

Landline

 / By Courtney Wilson

Posted Thu 16 Jun 2022 at 6:25pmThursday 16 Jun 2022 at 6:25pm

Play Video. Duration: 10 minutes 37 seconds
Hot Tech: Fighting fruit flies from the cloud.(ABC Landline: Courtney Wilson)

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Hi-tech trapping is helping growers to home in on invasive pests and reduce reliance on chemicals.

The technological fly trap uses the same fingerprint ID as a smartphone to detect specific pests and was designed to help manage Australian fruit fly.

The device uses a traditional lure to attract the fruit fly into the chamber, but it’s what happens when the pest insect is inside that sets it apart from a typical fly trap.

Nancy Schellhorn, chief executive of Rapid Aim, the company behind the sensing trap says as the insect entered the traps it interacts with sensors.

“And it’s the insect’s size, shape and behaviour that we then write algorithms to identify and detect it to know whether it’s what we’re interested in, or separate it out for the insects that enter the device that we don’t care about,” she said.

“Then there’s cutting-edge computing on board, and then that information is sent to the cloud.

“The information is streamed then in real time to the grower to their mobile app, so they can see exactly what’s happening with pests on their farm.”

A Mediterranean fruit fly on a leaf.
The data collected can be used to target specific areas of crops for fruit fly.(Supplied)

Technology beating pests

David De Paoli uses the sensor trapping system on his chilli farm in Bundaberg, Queensland.

 “I love technology,” Mr De Paoli said.

“My background is probably more engineering than farming, so if it’s out there, I’ve got to have it.”

Photo of a man smiling in front of farm.
David De Paoli started farming and exporting chillis 25 years ago.(ABC Landline: Courtney Wilson)

AustChilli is the biggest chilli farm in the country and one of the biggest suppliers of non-perishable chilli and avocado products to South-East Asia.

But growing crops in Bundaberg comes with some challenges. The Queensland fruit fly is an invasive pest that’s very active in the area.

Mr De Paoli says the introduction of sensing traps across his farming operation has vastly changed pest management practices.

“It gives us a much more proactive, not reactive, application to controlling fruit fly,” he said.

“We can see them in real time; every time a fly flies through a trap, we know ‘Hey, there’s 10 over in that corner, but there’s 50 in that corner’.”

This information allows the grower to target where and when they spray for fruit flies. The hope is that knowledge may lead to a reduction in chemical use, as its application can be more precise.

Photo of a man farming chillis.
Mr De Paoli says he loves technology and how it helps to keep his farm on track.(ABC Landline: Courtney Wilson)

“They never attack the whole field,” Mr De Paoli said.

“They always start in a corner, and that’s where we’ve got to go and get them before they spread and have parties.”

Manual traps not accurate

Traditionally, fruit flies were managed through manual trapping and monitoring — a system that was both highly labour-intensive and not particularly accurate.

Isaiah Gala, an agronomy assistant at the AustChilli farm, says previously they used containers with a pheromone to attract the pests.

Red chillis in a plastic box.
AustChilli is the biggest chilli farm in Australia.(ABC Landline: Courtney Wilson)

“It would take a couple hours, and I’d just manually count them out, one by one,” Mr Gala said.

“Now we can just click on a trap and Google Maps comes up, and it shows us exactly where it is.

“For example, in this one last week, we had 53 fruit flies on our Douglas farm, and we had 141mm of rain, and that number then tripled.”

The science behind becoming better farmers may start small, but it has the potential for a big impact.

Ms Schellhorn says a lot of chemical spray is wasted.

“In the US, about the equivalent of 230 jumbo jets full of pesticide gets sprayed across the landscape every year,” she said.

“But only about 0.003 per cent ever hits the target.”

Photo of woman smiling in a science laboratory.
Nancy Schellhorn is a former CSIRO scientist who specialises in insect ecology.(ABC Landline: Courtney Wilson)

Detecting other pest species

Beyond fruit flies, the technology captures and models behaviours to provide the data for the detection of other pest species.

“For most growers, there are usually one to three key pests that cost them the most money,” Ms Schellhorn said.

“So, for example, with apple and pear, it’s fruit fly and then codling moth. And so we are now adding codling moth into our layers of detection as well.”

The next step in the research is to move beyond trapping — to put the pest to work to kill others of its kind. 

Photo of chillis on a bush in a paddock in Bundaberg.
Growing chillies is a big business in Bundaberg, Queensland.(ABC Landline: Courtney Wilson)

“With our new Gen 2 product, we are no longer trapping pests,” Ms Schellhorn said.

“What happens is the pest comes in, it’s attracted to a lure. Once it comes into the chamber, it starts to pick up biocontrol. The biocontrol could be a spore, a fungal spore.

“It carries the spores out, so it gets detected on exit. But now it’s providing biocontrol for the farmer because it will go and mate with a female and it will be releasing those spores.”

It’s set to be rolled out in Queensland’s Lockyer Valley this October, and the first target is the invasive and extremely costly fall armyworm.

“So we’re super excited because it’s now bio digital,” Ms Schellhorn said.

“We’re on a mission to reduce the chemical intensity of agriculture, and we know that we have the technology and solutions and a new paradigm shift that allows us to do that.”

Watch this story on Landline or ABC iview.

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Posted 16 Jun 2022

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Cereals 2022: New light leaf spot detection test for OSR

© Blackthorn Arable© Blackthorn Arable

A new rapid disease test, capable of detecting light leaf spot in oilseed rape crops before symptoms are visible, will be available to farmers this September, helping them to tailor treatments for more effective fungicide use.

Developed by biotechnology company Microgenetics, the rapeseed SwiftDetect uses the same qPCR testing method as the company’s septoria leaf test launched last year.

The process involves taking 10 rapeseed leaf samples and posting them to a lab, where infection level results are returned using a traffic-light system as soon as 24 hours later.

See also: Cereals 2022: Manage OSR risk with top-yielding variety

The lab analysis has high sensitivity, capable of identifying specific pathogen cells within the latent period to help prevent disease spread before visible signs emerge.

Explore moreKnow How

Visit our Know How centre for practical farming advice

With resistance to azoles building and the number of other products in decline, the technology provides farmers with data to make informed farm decisions.

“The technology offers many benefits to agronomists and growers, giving them the information to tailor fungicide regimes to specific levels of crop disease,” explained Chris Steele, crop diagnostic product manager at Microgenetics.

A test costs £70/sample and Mr Steele recommended taking three tests throughout the season:

  1. At the start of the season to get a feel of current disease levels
  2. During October and November
  3. In January.

Next, the company plans to develop tests for phoma and sclerotinia in oilseed rape, and further tests for rynchosporium and net blotch in barley.

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Title: Potato blight forecasting tools updated

Steven Kildea describes the latest developments in potato blight forecasting which will help with fungicide decisions.

https://www.farmersjournal.ie/potato-blight-forecasting-tools-updated-703721

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Armyworms inactive despite rain, cool front

Bart Dreesbart-drees-fallarmyworm.jpg

Fall armyworms can be devastating to hayfields and pastures due to their appetite for green grass crops.

Texas Crop and Weather Report – June 2, 2022

Adam Russell | Jun 03, 2022

fps-generic.jpg

Texas forage producers are facing high fertilizer prices, but Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts do not expect they will face an early outbreak of fall armyworms.

David Kerns, AgriLife Extension state integrated pest management specialist and professor in the Department of Entomology, said recent weather has not created conditions for the early migration of the devastating pest experienced in 2021.

Populations typically build following large rain events and cooler weather. But Kerns said there is no indication that armyworm populations are building in southern areas of the state following recent weather systems that dropped temperatures and delivered moisture.

Fall armyworms’ name is indicative of their active season, but cool, wet weather can trigger outbreaks, Kern said. Populations of armyworms, which are extremely damaging to forage production, typically begin increasing sometime between July and September.

“Fall armyworms typically build up in southeastern Texas, and the moths move northward throughout the eastern half of the state,” he said. “Last year, with all the spring and summer rains, that buildup occurred earlier than usual, but conditions are much drier this year despite the recent storm fronts.”

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No reports of armyworms so far

Fall armyworms are green with brown or black colorations and can be identified by the white inverted Y on their head. They can grow up to 1 inch in length when mature.

The pest got its name because they appear to march army-like across hay fields, consuming the grass in their path.

Armyworm moths can lay up to 2,000 eggs that hatch in two to three days, according to a 2019 report by Allen Knutson, AgriLife Extension entomologist, retired.

Vanessa Corriher-Olson, AgriLife Extension forage specialist, Overton, said there are four to five generations that move throughout the state per growing season. They typically move north from Mexico and South Texas as temperatures warm in the spring. Generations will push further north into midwestern states, but moths and larvae remain present throughout the state.

Drier, hotter conditions slow their life cycles, Corriher-Olson said. Moths lay fewer eggs and caterpillar growth is slowed. But rainfall and cooler temperatures can trigger major infestations when local populations, new hatches and migrating moths descend on areas with quality food sources.

Corriher-Olson said continued drier conditions overall in southern parts of the state are likely to curb any early issues forage producers may have experienced in 2021.

“I have not received any reports or phone calls, and that tells me populations in areas where the armyworm migration begins have not reached any level of concern,” she said.

No problem until there is a problem

Corriher-Olson said producers typically react to fall armyworm outbreaks when they occur, which has led to product availability issues during the pandemic. She noted, however, that she had not received any reports about insecticide shortages to date.

“Many producers take a reactionary approach to armyworms because of the expense,” she said. “Some producers may have products on hand that are left over from last year, but most are going to be monitoring the situation to their south and plan accordingly.”

Kerns said conditions may not be shaping up for armyworms at this point in the forage production season, but producers with Sudan grass, hay grazer and other forages related to sorghum should be on the lookout for sorghum aphids, also known as sugarcane aphids.

While armyworms prefer wetter, cooler weather, sorghum aphids prefer hot, dry conditions, he said. There have been reports of the aphids in grain sorghum fields in South Texas.

Aphids feed on leaves and leave a sap that further damages the plant, and major infestations can greatly impact forage yields.

Corriher-Olson said forage pests like fall armyworms and aphids are always a threat to producers’ bottom lines, but yield losses could magnify their impact on budgets due to higher input costs, especially fertilizer applications.

Many forage producers are forgoing or reducing fertilizer applications, which could impact where infestations build, she said. Fall armyworms will settle on any green pasture, but they prefer lush, fertilized forages.

“Fertilized fields are more at risk to be damaged,” she said. “So, when it comes to armyworms, we don’t want to see a producer spend money to produce quality forage and have armyworms destroy it.”

AgriLife Extension district reporters compiled the following summaries:

1-district-map-HR

The 12 Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Districts

ROLLING PLAINS

Rainfall amounts were from 1.5-3 inches. The rains helped the soil moisture profile, but more rain was needed to fill stock tanks. There was very little green grass in pastures. Wheat harvest continued in the little bit of wheat worth combining. Yield reports ranged from 3-25 bushels per acre. Supplemental hay feeding of cattle continued.

COASTAL BEND

Southern parts of the area reported showers that produced trace amounts to 2 inches of rain. Crops with irrigation looked good, but dryland producers were concerned about crop losses. Cotton benefitted the most from rain, but more moisture will be needed to see good yields. Corn and grain sorghum were drying down and any moisture would probably only help with the kernel weight. Rangeland and pastures showed a slight color change with rain, but not much growth occurred, and conditions remained poor to fair. Livestock were still in a decline and receiving supplemental feed. Hay supplies were dwindling. More cattle producers were weaning early and culling out poor producing cows. Cattle market prices remained high.

EAST

Recent rains helped, but soils dried quickly. Pasture and rangeland conditions were fair. Subsoil and topsoil conditions were short to adequate. Hay production continued. Yields were much lower than normal as producers reduced fertilizer applications due to higher input costs. Harrison County reported problematic fly populations. Livestock were in fair to good condition.   

SOUTH PLAINS

Producers received another significant rainfall shower this week across the county. Rainfall totals ranged from 0.5 inches to 2 inches. Some large hail was also mixed with the heavier rain. Cooler temperatures helped conditions. Rain was in the forecast. Cotton planting was in full swing with about 80% of acres planted so far. More rain will be needed for decent cotton, corn and sorghum yields. Pumpkin farmers started planting. Cattle were being supplementally fed. The recent rainfall helped pastures a little.

PANHANDLE

Soil moisture conditions were very short to short. Recent rains helped irrigated crops like wheat, corn and cotton some. Earlier planted corn was up and growing, but some silage corn plantings were still on hold. Cotton was already planted or going in, but producers were not optimistic about yields. Rangeland and pasture conditions improved, but much more rain will be needed to sustain a green-up. Overall, rangeland and pasture conditions remained poor, and crop conditions were poor to fair.

NORTH

Soil moisture ranged from adequate to short. Warmer temperatures and higher wind speeds dried up soil moisture. Corn, cotton and soybeans were doing well. Early planted corn was tasseling. The wheat harvest began, and fields looked good. No widespread insect or disease pressure was reported. Pasture and rangeland conditions were fair to good and had improved slightly following recent rainfall. The first hay harvests of Bermuda grass, ryegrass, Bahia grass or oats were cut and rolled without issue this year. This was the first early forage harvest in the past few years not delayed by rainfall or wet conditions. Cattle were in good to excellent condition. Horn and stable flies were increasing significantly, and horseflies and deerflies were worsening. Spring calves appeared to be gaining well. Supplemental feeding continued for livestock and wildlife, and forage quality looked poor. Rainfall will be necessary for continued forage production. Some hay producers were considering transitioning pastures to native forage production due to lack of rain and increased fertilizer costs.

FAR WEST

Weather was variable. A cold front dropped temperatures into the 40s and brought rainfall, hail and dust storms that took visibility to zero, but temperatures quickly returned to the 90s. A very narrow band of storms left trace amounts of rain up to 1.5 inches. Hail damage to farm equipment, barns, trees and residences was severe. Emerged cotton was hailed out. Cotton, especially Pima fields, looked good in other areas. Corn continued to make progress, but heat was starting to take its toll. Melons looked good and were making good progress. Pecan trees were coming along nicely and set a good crop. Some pecan nut casebearer pressure was reported. Alfalfa looked decent. Pastures remained completely bare. Cattle conditions continued to worsen, and some ranchers completed weaning.

WEST CENTRAL

Thunderstorms delivered from 1.5-3 inches of rainfall to most areas. Forages perked up with the moisture, but temperatures in the 90s and windy days could impact moisture retention. Some farmers harvested wheat last week, but yields were poor. Cotton outlooks were looking slim as well. Herd liquidation was slowly happening. Some producers with hay chose to feed through drought, but many were selling off their herds. An ongoing wildfire near Abilene was under control, but not before it burned 10,900 acres.

SOUTHEAST

Heavy rains helped soil moisture levels. Some hay was cut, and rice was fertilized. Forages were growing and producers in several areas cut their first hay crop with no pests reported. Rains slowed crop planting in some areas. Rice planting was not complete. Some areas remained dry and reported declining pasture, rangeland and crop conditions. Rangeland and pastures ranged from very poor to excellent condition. Soil moisture levels were short to surplus.

SOUTHWEST

Some areas received 0.75-3 inches of rain. The rainfall helped alleviate the drought stress for crops that survived to this point. Hot temperatures persisted and pastures looked overgrazed. Wheat and oat harvests were complete with below-average yields reported.  Irrigated corn looked good, and cotton was doing well. Producers eased up on supplemental feeding due to the recent rains, but pasture conditions continued to decline in drier areas. Mesquite spraying was underway. Diet supplementation continued for livestock and wildlife, and forage production looked poor. Irrigated hay fields were in good condition.

SOUTH

Moisture levels in northern areas were very short, while eastern and western areas reported short to adequate soil moisture. Southern areas reported adequate to surplus moisture. Most areas reported rainfall with amounts ranging from 0.3-8 inches. Pastures and rangelands responded well to the moisture. Livestock conditions were improving and producers were decreasing supplemental feed. Cattle prices remained strong. Cattle producers in drier areas continued to provide supplemental feed to maintain body condition scores. Producers who planted hay grazer before the rains were expecting good growth. Significant rain missed croplands in northern parts of the district. Row crops and forages in areas that received rain were expected to improve significantly. Irrigated crops like watermelons, cantaloupes and Bermuda grass looked good. Cotton was expected to respond well to the moisture. Flooding and hail damaged some crops. Hail damaged around 5,000 acres of grain, sesame, sunflowers, watermelons and corn. Sorghum aphid pressure increased, and weeds were becoming an issue as fields were too wet to spray.

Source: is AgriLife TODAY, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

TAGS: FORAGE FALL ARMYWORMS

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CropsCrop TopicsInsectsInsect management in the Mid-South: What to know for 2022

Insect management in the Mid-South: What to know for 2022

Ginger RowseyWhitney Crow

Whitney Crow, assistant professor and row crop entomologist, at MSU’s Delta Research and Extension Center.

MSU row crop entomologist discusses products and strategies for controlling crop pests in the coming year.

Ginger Rowsey | Jun 03, 2022

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Farm Progress Show

Aug 30, 2022 to Sep 01, 2022

It’s true every year is different in farming, but in the Midsouth, you can almost always count on insect pressure creating potential problems. We caught up with Whitney Crow, row crop entomologist with Mississippi State University, to discuss likely pest issues, the effect of high insecticide prices on management decisions, and how last year’s intense insect pressure led to research questions that will hopefully help growers save money and yields in the future. 

Delta Farm Press: You’ve completed the redbanded stinkbug ditch bank survey. What did it tell you? 

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Whitney Crow: We found redbanded stinkbug populations north of Highway 82 relatively early in the season. Based off what we saw in the majority of the Delta, there looks to be greater potential this year to see issues with redbanded stinkbugs, especially in late-planted soybeans. 

Redbanded stink bugs are capable of causing much more damage than green, brown, or southern green stink bugs and also cause damage later in the growing season. 

There is a good correlation between what we see in the clover ditchbanks and what we see in the season, unlike a lot of insects. We’ll find plant bugs in ditchbanks early, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be a huge issue later in the season. Planting date is really the best thing you can do to manage redbanded stinkbugs. If you weren’t able to plant early, be prepared to monitor and treat through R7. 

Don CookRedbanded Stinkbug

Ditch bank surveys of redbanded stinkbugs show a potential for greater pressure this season, particularly in late-planted soybeans.

DFP: What type of insect pest calls have you received already this season? 

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Crow: I’ve received several thrips calls already. Mostly from growers wanting to know the best product to effectively manage thrips. All winter we have encouraged growers to be mindful of using acephate for thrips. Yes, it’s less expensive than other products, but we’re starting to see a decline in efficacy with acephate. Based on research done here at the University of Tennessee, acephate is only providing about 75% control of thrips populations. We’re recommending growers transition to a product like Intrepid Edge. 

DFP: With farm chemical costs increasing so dramatically over the past year, should growers consider changes to their insect management strategies in 2022? 

Crow: We’ll have to be more mindful of our input costs as a whole. And you may have to be willing to move to a “Plan B” if products become hard to find or prices continue to go up. Our established thresholds serve as a guideline for management decisions but in a year like this we have to be especially mindful of the economic potential of the insects we’re dealing with. Be sure to take structured insect counts before making an insect management decision. Especially toward the end of the season, sometimes we put out insecticide applications that aren’t necessarily warranted. 

Each insecticide application decision should be weighted by a variety of factors such as crop value, effectiveness of the treatment available and management cost. Management guidelines are simply guidelines, and every situation is different, but the end goal never changes. We want growers to make economically sound decisions for their crop situation. But I think going into this season with the unknowns of demand and price ceilings that we’re going to have to consider alternatives to what we are normally relying on. 

DFP: Last year was a horrible year for insect pressure here in the Midsouth. What lessons did you take away from 2021? 

Crow: When I think back on the huge migrating populations of plant bugs and all the armyworm issues that came later, I would probably rank 2021 as one of the worst years for crop pests that I’ve witnessed in my career. It provided us with questions that we can hopefully address in our research program. 

Angus CatchotTarnished-plant-bug

Tarnished plant bugs are one of the most significant pests for Midsouth cotton producers.

One of the questions that arose during that huge migration of plant bugs is does it matter if we use a really effective insecticide versus a more cost efficient one in our early applications? Because often during those early those applications, plant bugs are migrating in constantly, so when you make an application and go back out there, there’s a chance there will still be adults in the field, but they’re not the same ones you sampled before. 

We have a graduate student who is going to be looking at insecticide applications early season to see if it matters if we use something like imadicloprid which is cheap, but only provides 30-50% control of plant bugs, versus Transform which is our best product on the market. The goal is to determine what the best prebloom management of adult tarnished plant bugs is to maintain 80% square retention. We will also be doing this in ThryvOn and non-ThryvOn, because we’ve noticed while there is no adult activity in ThryvOn, that square retention does tend to be a little bit higher, even when adults are migrating in. 

Another question we’re hoping to address is the sliding threshold for plant bugs later in the season. We know the most critical window is about the second to fourth week of bloom. In a lot of areas after that fourth week we can make some adjustments. In areas of heavy pressure, we know it’s probably a little later than the fourth week, closer to the fifth, but we can’t really nail down where we can address that threshold. So, we’re going to be looking at fruit removal at the fourth through sixth weeks of bloom to see if we can nail down the exact time we can alter thresholds without hurting yield so we can hopefully lessen our insecticide applications later in the season. 

DFP: Any parting advice for insect management for the 2022 season? 

Crow: It’s impossible to predict the intensity of insect pressure from year to year. Scouting and monitoring insect populations are always the first step. 

Crow and other MSU specialists are hosting three Agronomic Scout Schools in June. More information is available at the Mississippi Crop Situation blog

TAGS: CROPS

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Crop scouting app for faster data collection

These days – whether it’s due to covid or other reasons – growers often have less staff at their farms. But when under pressure to deliver more with less, digitizing and expediating manual tasks is key to optimizing labor.

The FarmRoad mobile app aims to streamline crop scouting and crop registration so your team can work faster without pens or clipboards. Record crop measurements, pest numbers, and disease outbreaks using your phone. Upload photos, type comments then instantly share with your team so you can act fast to address the issues.

Speed up and simplify crop data capture
The FarmRoad mobile app provides a simple solution to streamlining crop scouting tasks. The app works on both phones and tablets and collects data on:

  • Pests
  • Beneficial insects
  • Pest traps
  • Plant diseases
  • Plant disorders

Record pest types and infestation locations
Understanding pest pressure relies on comprehensive monitoring of different types of pests (e.g., whitefly, thrips) and their numbers. Use the FarmRoad mobile app to log the location of infestations and record pest types and their prevalence to evaluate the effectiveness of your beneficial insects. 

Collect pest trap data faster
Insect traps are essential to directly reduce the populations of the insects and other anthropods that affect your crop. Using traps as part of your pest management reduces the need for pesticides. Use the FarmRoad mobile app to collect pest trap data faster.

Document plant disease threats
Managing plant disease outbreaks keeps every grower on their toes. Monitoring environmental conditions and pathogen transmission at your farm enables you to track outbreaks to keep them under control. Use the FarmRoad mobile app to upload photos, dates and write comments to keep your team updated on disease occurrences in your greenhouse.

Faster identification and communication of potential crop problems
Crop scouting is necessary to keep plants healthy and to prevent pests or pathogens from reaching dangerous levels. Arm your team of scouts with the app to record crop threats at precise locations. Staff can upload photos, comment, and share immediately so swift remedial action can be taken.

Visualize and track your scouting info
Scouting data collected with the FarmRoad Mobile app is visualized inside the FarmRoad platform. Graphing crop information helps you spot trends and patterns in the lifecycle of your crop.

Digitize crop measurements
Collecting regular crop measurements helps agronomists and farm managers understand how to steer the growth of their plants. Use the FarmRoad mobile app to digitize over 20 crop measurements with your phone to speed up crop registration.

For more information:
Farmroad
www.farmroad.io

Publication date: Wed 25 May 2022

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