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Weekly Field Crops Pest Report 2011

September 9, 2011, Volume 10 Number 18

  1. View from the Field
  2. Weather Outlook
  3. Western Bean Cutworm Update
  4. Clipboard Checklist
  5. Contact Information

View from the Field

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Mike Stanyard (Northwestern NY Dairy and Field Crops Team) reports soybean aphids (SBA) can still be found in soybeans but at low numbers. White mold in soybeans has also been observed. If your soybean plants are at R6 or beyond and you have high infestation levels of SBA it is not economical to spray. Once soybeans reach the R6 growth stage (pod fill) research has shown that there is NO yield benefit to an insecticide treatment to control aphids.
There have been several reports of Western Bean Cutworm (WBC) larvae in field corn in the Clinton, Franklin, Lewis, St. Lawrence counties. Most observations suggest incidental presence but one report found as many as 50% of the corn ears in one field had WBC larvae feeding.

Weather Outlook

September 8, 2011

Andrew Montreuil
NOAA NE Climate Center, Cornell University

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Destructive flooding has hit parts of New York and will continue to create problems through at least Friday. Additional rain will be possible today, especially across the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and southeast New York. The rain will likely be heaviest over southeast New York. The threat for showers will continue over these same areas Friday as well as Saturday before the whole state sees a chance for rain on Sunday. On Saturday, the showers should be scattered in nature and some breaks of sunshine may be possible. Unfortunately, at least some chances for rain are possible Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as a train of systems moves through the area. Rain totals over the next 5 days will be highest along the length of the New York/Pennsylvania state line, where 1-2" may fall. The amounts quickly decrease the farther north you go, with the majority of the state seeing less than half an inch.
High temperatures today will be in the upper 60s to low 70s, with overnight lows in the upper 50s to near 60. Tomorrow highs will be in the upper 70s to near 80, with lows in the mid 50s. Saturday and Sunday highs will be in the low to mid 70s, with lows Sunday morning in the low to mid 50s and a few 40s in the far north. Lows Monday morning will be in the upper 50s. Highs Monday will be in the low to mid 70s, with lows early Tuesday in the mid to upper 50s. Highs on Tuesday will be  in the upper 60s to low 70s. The 8-14 day outlook is calling for near normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.

Western Bean Cutworm Update

Keith Waldron

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This season's western bean cutworm monitoring effort collected WBC moths in 29 of 38 counties across NY. Peak flight of WBC moths occurred the week of August 2, however, a very few Western Bean Cutworm moths were still being collected in some areas this week. Reports have come in the last two weeks that WBC larvae and some feeding injury have been found in developing corn ears in some Clinton, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Franklin county field corn fields. {Thanks to Dan Mongeau (Pioneer Seed) and Glen Yousey, (Seedway)}. We have not heard of any WBC issues in dry beans. These WBC reports in field and sweet corn indicate larval presence, typically in hot spots within a field. It is not clear at this time whether economic infestations have occurred. Your observations and feedback would be very helpful! It should be noted that some WBC larvae observed in corn have been found in counties where WBC traps did not detect moths….
As mentioned last week, now would be the time WBC larvae would have moved to their preferred feeding areas – corn ears or dry bean pods. With the extended moth flight season found in some areas WBC larvae may be at different sizes (growth stages).

As you check corn and dry beans for maturity and potential harvest dates, search corn ears and dry bean pods for WBC larvae and or signs of larval feeding. In corn, WBC larvae feed on the tassels and ultimately move to feed on ears. Larvae can bore through the husks or enter the ear near the silk region. Unlike other caterpillars that feed on corn ears (corn earworm, European corn borer, etc.) WBC larvae are not cannibalistic and could have multiple larvae per ear. WBC larvae are very distinctive in appearance. Mature larvae are smooth, hairless, and light tan to pink. At first glance, WBC larvae are distinguished by two distinctive dark brown stripes immediately behind the head. (see photo).

western bean cutworm larva

For a description of the Western Bean Cutworm. See the North Central IPM Regional Pest Alert factsheet: Western Bean Cutworm Striacosta albicosta (Smith).
Suggestions for field scouting from Tracey Baute (OMAFRA, "Baute Blog", 9.1.11):
"Some corn fields may be at risk of extended WBC feeding this fall, particularly those that were late planted or are situated where egg laying occurred over a wider window.  This year in particular, we are seeing a wide range of larval sizes because of the extended egg laying period that took place across much of the province.  Fields that are maturing quickly may be less at risk, as the larvae will be dropping down to the ground to overwinter as the ears dry down in these fields."
"Focus on later planted (corn) fields first.  Scout random areas of each field.  Look at 10 consecutive ears in a row.  You might see frass at the ear tip or a hole along the side of the husk where the larva entered. Peel back the husk and determine if larvae are present and make note of how extensive the feeding damage is.  Birds diving into fields is also a good indication that WBC is present and unfortunately they will also contribute to the ear damage.  Once the larvae reach the 6th and last instar, they drop to the soil and tunnel down deep to overwinter there.  If larvae are nowhere to be found in the field, it is a good indication that they have already started to get ready to overwinter." For more information on WBC field monitoring see last weeks "Weekly Field Crops Pest Report".
To help us better understand this new insect pest, we are very interested in hearing about your WBC field observations, fields infested, estimated % of field or plants affected, any impact on yield, etc… Thanks

Clipboard Checklist

Keith Waldron

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*Emergency contact information ("911", local hospital, Chem. Spill emergency contact, other?) posted in central posting area
*Maintain crop records by field, including variety, planting date, pesticides used, nutrient inputs including manure, etc.
*Watch for any patches of herbicide resistant weeds, weed escapes
*Storage areas cleaned and ready to accept hay, soybean, corn harvests
Field Corn:

* Note crop growth stage and condition – potential for silage harvest?
* Foliar diseases, stalk rots and ear mold
* Check for European corn borer, Western bean cutworm, foliar diseases (such as Gray Leaf spot and Northern Corn leaf blight), vertebrate injury (birds / deer), slugs, weed escapes, herbicide injury, nutritional deficiencies, etc.
* Monitor weed populations noting presence of "who", "how many" and "where"
Alfalfa & Hay:
* Monitor alfalfa seedings for weeds, for potato leafhopper & diseases.
* Check established alfalfa stands for potato leafhopper, weed and disease problems.
* Check established alfalfa stands for signs of alfalfa snout beetle infestations in counties known to have this pest.
* Storage areas cleaned and ready to accept next harvest?
* Note crop growth stage and condition
* Evaluate stand for deer, weed assessment, white mold, foliar disease incidence, harvest timing

Dairy Cattle: Livestock Barn Fly Management:
* Monitor animals and facilities for house fly and stable fly populations
* Check facilities for favorable fly breeding conditions: (organic matter + moisture): leaks in watering systems, roof gutters for leaks and potential overspill, drainage,
* Sanitation, sanitation, sanitation - clean animal resting areas, feed troughs, minimize source of moist organic matter i.e. fly breeding areas in barn and in adjacent animal loafing yard * Continue fly monitoring: install "3X5" index card fly speck monitoring cards throughout barn
* Use, replenish, replace fly management materials: sticky fly tapes/ribbons, insecticide baits, natural enemies (parasitoids), fly population monitoring (3 x 5) spot cards
* Continue release of purchased natural enemies (fly attacking parasitoids)
Dairy Cattle: Pasture Fly Management:
* Monitor animals for presence of face flies, horn flies and stable flies. Action guidelines: face flies (average 10 per animal face), horn flies (average 50 / dairy, 200 / beef cattle per animal side), stable flies average 10 per animal  (all four legs)
* Check feed bunk / water source locations for signs of stable fly breeding (moist undisturbed organic matter - spilled feed, round bales, etc.), minimize source of moist organic matter i.e. fly breeding areas in barn and in adjacent animal loafing yard
* Check paddocks for forage quality / quantity, rotate as appropriate
* Check paddocks for vegetation poisonous to livestock
* Consider use of fly traps to help reduce deer, horse and stable fly populations
* Pre-clean in and around grain storage bins in anticipation of soybean and grain corn harvests.
* Keep areas around storage bins and silos clean and mowed

* Note any repairs needed for recently used equipment: tractors, tillage implements, harvesting equipment, etc. as they are cleaned and serviced.
* Calibrate manure spreaders - maintain records on amount spread per field


Emergency responder information on pesticide spills and accidents CHEMTREC:  800-424-9300

For pesticide information:

National Pesticide Information Center: 800-858-7378

To Report Oil and Hazardous Material Spills in New York State: NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Spill Response: 800-457-7362 (in NYS); 518-457-7362 (outside NYS)

Poison Control Centers: Poison Control Centers nationwide: 800-222-1222

If you are unable to reach a Poison Control Center or obtain the information your doctor needs, the office of the NYS Pesticide Coordinator at Cornell University, 607-255-1866, may be able to assist you in obtaining such information.

Contact Information

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Keith Waldron: NYS Livestock and Field Crops IPM Coordinator
Phone: (315) 787 - 2432
Fax: (315) 787-2360

Ken Wise: Eastern NYS IPM Area Educator: Field Crops and Livestock
Phone: (518) 434-1690
Fax: (518) 426-3316