2 min read
Yellow striped armyworm.

The Alabama Vegetable IPM program conducts the statewide insect monitoring program as a special service to crop producers. Pest alerts are based on moth counts from sticky wing pheromone traps. However, there is no shortcut to direct crop scouting to detect pest pressure. Producers should monitor insects, keep good records, and develop their own IPM plan suitable for the farm.

Alabama drought map from USDA: At this point, parts of approximately 7 counties in Alabama are in dry conditions. Most of the dry conditions are in the northwest regions of the state. Always watch the weather conditions before making IPM decisions. Flash drought can be very harmful to specialty crops compared to a prolonged drought. Visit www.droughtmonitor.unl.edu to view the current Alabama drought map from USDA.

Overview of insect pest activity from monitoring traps:

  • Refer to the table with moth numbers indicating the average moth activity across 26 locations in Alabama. The larger the bubble, higher is the activity in the region. We have collected and removed nearly 10,000 moths in the summer of 2022 using these traps!
  • The average activity of beet and fall armyworms continued to rise in small increments. These along with the cabbage loopers and diamondback moths could be some of the major pests producers may find on leafy greens and brassica crops. Multiple generations of these insects cause outbreaks in winter crops. Harvesting of summer crops also drives armyworms in search of other host plants that become infested. Slowdown of natural enemy activity with shortening day length and cooler weather can also contribute to the increased caterpillar abundance on crops; therefore, it is important to conserve natural enemies by sequential harvesting of crops, planting appropriate habitats, and reduce insecticide applications.
  • The average activity of lesser cornstalk borer moth, as a drought indicators species, has nearly doubled across all locations. Activity may slow down as fall progresses.
  • IPM recommendations: It is very important for producers to practice sanitation, that is, removal of excess crop debris and weeds that may harbor pests. This prevents early infestation of fall crops and slows down buildup.
Additional IPM Resources: For major insect pest and disease images, download the Farming Basics Phone App (version 2 available) now has organic and conventional insect control in the ‘Insect’ tab. Those are general guidelines and aggregated from various IPM publications I have done. Also, anyone can subscribe to the Alabama IPM/Sustainable AG newsletter from the Farming Basics phone app. Producers can use the app also to contact a commercial horticulture REA.

 

Pest Monitoring Report (September 19, 2022)

Pest Monitoring Report (September 19, 2022)
SpeciesJune ActivityJuly ActivityAugustHighest Activity
Beet armyworm1.94.04.9Southeast Alabama
Fall armyworm 0.70.91.1Southwest Alabama
Southern armyworm 1.92.42.1Southeast Alabama
Yellow-striped armyworm 0.40.30.5Southeast Alabama
Cabbage looper 1.04.54.7Southeast and East Central Alabama
Soybean looper 0.10.51.1Southeast Alabama
tomato fruitworm0.91.61.7Southeast Alabama
Tobacco budworm 0.20.40.5Southeast and East Central Alabama
Lesser cornstalk borer 224244.1Southeast Alabama
Squash vine borer 3.75.46.4East Central Alabama

 

Special thanks to Olivia Fuller, David Lawrence, Jacob Kelley, Chip East, Eric Schavey, and Makayla Gothard for contributing to the data collection from multiple locations. Supported by funds from the USDA-NIFA BFRD, SARE Research & Education/PDP, CPPM/EIP, OREI, and ADAI Specialty Crops Block Grant Programs.

IPM Resources

Use the following IPM resources for insecticide choices related to specialty crops.

Video Resources

The Alabama Beginning Farmer playlist on the Alabama Extension YouTube channel have several IPM videos. One of the new field IPM videos, Integrated Pest Management (Overview), provides an overview of all three levels of pest management.

 

Did you find this helpful?