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Timely Sprays Take Down Lessers and Loopers in Peanuts

July 6, 2021
lesser cornstalk borer on peanuts plant

Lesser cornstalk borer in peanut field; Source: Steve L. Brown, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

While it’s too early to tell what 2021 has in store for pests in peanuts, one thing is certain – we likely will have steady pressure from the usual yield robbing lepidopteran pests, including lesser cornstalk borer (LCB) and soybean looper, just as was the case in 2020.

The best strategy is to start the stopwatch after peanuts are planted to determine when the best windows of treatment will be for both pests. For LCB, that is 50-75 days after planting when the stand is established. Soybean looper pressure likely will be highest 75-120 days after planting. Close scouting will determine the need for and best timing for treatment.

LCB population outbreaks typically occur during hot, dry weather, especially in peanuts growing on sandy soils. And if the weather is hot and wet instead, anticipate soybean looper worm flights will begin to pick up – and they’re headed for your peanut fields.

Fortunately, peanut growers can control the 2 pests with 1 product – Besiege® insecticide.

For LCB, the ability to “wash in” an application with irrigation or timely rainfall optimizes control by improving coverage deep in the canopy. Because Besiege has good residual, a treatment for LCB control often is still available to help manage soybean loopers. As a bonus, the residual also offers some control of leaf and alfalfa hoppers that kill leaves and stems.

Besiege insecticide is good value for the dollar, not only because of its broad spectrum knock down and residual activity, but also for its dual modes of action. Besiege controls lepidopteran, sucking and chewing insects by contact, ingestion and ovicidal action.

So, watch the calendar for Besiege application timing and watch the weather for indications of potential pest problems.

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