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Start scouting for caterpillars earlier in soybeans

June 16, 2016

The velvetbean caterpillar and green cloverworm caused significant soybean damage last year. Early signs indicate populations could be high again in 2016 due to mild winter conditions. According to Clemson University Cooperative Extension scouting typically begins in late July through August. However, this year’s mild winter could call for even earlier scouting, as pests may emerge sooner than last year.

The University of Georgia Pest Management Handbook for 2016 recommends using an insecticide to protect against the velvetbean caterpillar and green cloverworm if 30 percent of defoliation loss has occurred and if larvae are at least half of an inch in size prior to bloom. The recommended sweep threshold is 38 larvae per 25 sweeps.

When scouting for the velvetbean caterpillar and green cloverworm, keep the following in mind:

  • Defoliation will often appear at the upper part of the canopy
  • Green cloverworms are frequently misidentified and mistreated as soybean loopers
  • Velvetbean caterpillars range from green to dark black

Green Cloverworm

Green cloverworm

For protection against velvetbean caterpillars, green cloverworms and other key yield-robbing pests, Syngenta offers Besiege®  insecticide to provide quick knockdown and long-lasting residual control of the most difficult-to-control lepidopteran pests and other economically important pests.

Applying these insecticides before caterpillars reach economic thresholds will protect yield and profit potential.

Join the hunt: follow @SyngentaUS for scouting tips and updates on the most wanted pests of 2016. Share your own scouting experience on social media using #InsectOutlaws.

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©2016 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Besiege is a Restricted Use Pesticide. Besiege is highly toxic to bees exposed to direct treatment on blooming crops and weeds. Do not apply this product or allow it to drift onto blooming plants while bees are foraging adjacent to the treatment area. Besiege® and the Syngenta logo are registered trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company.