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Soybean podworms threaten later-planted crops

MIDWEST: I’m starting to hear some isolated cases of soybean podworm injury. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this insect, it’s more commonly known as the corn earworm. Obviously, if you’ve been out in the corn fields this summer, you’ll know earworm pressure is pretty heavy in northern Missouri. When you couple that with our delayed planting dates for a lot of these soybean fields – maturities are very variable because of the spring we had – some of them are going to be at risk for this insect. It is going to feed on some foliage, but its major damage is actually going to be chewing on the pods and even clipping them. The result is that you can have some substantial yield loss pretty quickly if this insect is out there, being aggressive, and isn’t controlled. We’ve still got a lot of beans in that R3, R4, and even R5 stage, so we’re still at risk of losing pods.

The economic threshold for control – although based on somewhat dated information – is between one to two soybean podworm-injured crops per foot or row, depending on if you’re in 15- or 30-inch rows. If you are starting to see this insect out in your soybeans while scouting, it’s probably time to take a quick, hard look at if control is going to be needed because again, the yield loss can add up pretty quickly.

For control, a couple of options are Endigo® ZC and Warrior II with Zeon Technology® insecticides. Coverage is going to be key so when you think about application, the more water the better – especially with this insect.

Another issue I’m seeing is spider mites, which are flaring up again in a few areas. We’ve kind of gone back into a hot and dry period, and some of the fields that maybe were even treated six months ago are starting to see some flare on the edge.

The season isn’t over, and we’re not finished up with yield potential quite yet. We need to try to salvage the pods and the beans that we have on these plants, especially on some of the fields that were planted later and are a little bit behind on maturity.

Reported from Lathrop, MO

©2013 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some crop protection products are not registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Endigo ZC and Warrior II with Zeon Technology are Restricted Use Pesticides. Endigo ZC and Warrior II with Zeon Technology are highly toxic to bees exposed to direct treatment on blooming crops and weeds. Do not apply these products or allow them to drift onto blooming plants while bees are foraging adjacent to the treatment area. Endigo®, Warrior II with Zeon Technology® and the Syngenta logo are registered trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company.

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