Category Archives: Soybean

Soybean Disease Detective: Identifying Soil Borne Diseases

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As most Tennessee soybeans are entering their mid-late reproduction growth stages, some symptoms of diseases caused by soil-borne pathogens may be beginning to show up in our fields, particularly sudden death syndrome this year. The issue with diagnosing diseases caused by soil-borne pathogens is that they often exhibit very similar symptomology to each other. However, there are certain indicators that can help you differentiate between these diseases and help you make the best management decisions moving forward. Continue reading

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A Step Back on Palmer Amaranth Control

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Picture 1. Palmer Amaranth Escapes in Xtend Soybean

Driving across West Tennessee last week it is very apparent we have taken a step backward on Palmer amaranth control.  Many fields that looked clean from the road in late July are now showing large Palmer amaranth escapes. Upon closer inspection the pigweed escapes are at least partially affected by the dicamba applications which resulted in them staying hidden from the road until the last couple of weeks. Continue reading

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Reminder: Soybean Disease Field Day Sept. 12th

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Wondering what’s been making your soybeans sickly? Come to The University of Tennessee Soybean Disease Field Day, held Tuesday, Sept. 12th, at the Milan Research and Education Center. Registration will be from 8:30-9:00 AM with the tour beginning at 9 AM and concluding with a box lunch.  Preregistration is not required. Pesticide re-certification and CCA points will be available. Continue reading

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August 31 Bollworm/Budworm Catches for West TN

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Location CEW TBW
Hardeman (Bolivar) 2 0
Fayette (Whiteville) 3 0
Fayette (Somerville) 12 0
Shelby (Millington) 4 0
Tipton (Covington) 3 0
Tipton (North) 3 0
Lauderdale (Golddust) 8 0
Haywood(West) 9 0
Haywood (Brownsville) 15 1
Madison (WTREC) 9 0
Madison (North) 0 0
Crockett (Alamo) 0 0
Crockett (Friendship) 2 0
Dyer (King Rd) 12 0
Dyer (Dyersburg) 1 0
Lake (Ridgely) 12 0
Gibson (Trenton) 30 0
Gibson (Milan Rec) 0 0
Carroll (Coleman Farm) 8 0


Numbers are consistently going down across West TN and this is the last week for trap catches.

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Corn Earworms Showing Up in Soybeans

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I’ve received a few calls this week on corn earworms (bollworm/podworm) showing up in fields across Tennessee.  UT’s threshold for earworms, in beans, is based on sweep net sampling, crop value and control costs. The table below outlines the threshold based on the above factors.

Corn Earworm Threshold in Soybeans
Corn Earworm Threshold in Soybeans

Crop value is on the left-hand side, control costs are the 3rd row from the top and numbers beneath control costs are earworm numbers per 25 sweeps. The spot price of beans for (8/31) is $13.75 and control costs can vary from $10 to $16, depending on product choice, so the threshold in 25 sweeps would be 5 to 6 earworms per 25 sweeps. As crop price and control cost changes so does the number of earworms in our threshold.

Moths are typically attracted to later planted, more open canopy fields. However, earworms can be found in any stage beans. Insecticide choice depends on a few factors. If earworms are at or near threshold, acephate (0.75 lb/a) plus a pyrethroid is a cheaper option that provides acceptable control. This option runs the risk of flaring other pests (loopers, mites) and fields need to be rechecked 4-5 days after application to makes sure adequate control was achieved. If worms are above threshold safer choices would be Vantacor (1.2 fl oz), Elevest (5.0 fl oz), Besiege (7.0 fl oz), Intrepid Edge (4.0 fl oz) or Blackhawk (2.0 oz). The diamides (Vantacor, Besiege, Elevest) will have the longest residual control but many earworm issues in TN beans are solved after one application.

Another, more nonconvention option is Heligen (1.0 – 1.5 fl oz). Heligen is earworm specific and doesn’t have a fit on every acre. Applications should be initiated on small larvae at half a threshold (typically 2 – 4 larvae in 25 sweeps). Heligen is a virus that spreads throughout the field via infected larvae and requires some patience and knowledge of infection symptomology.

One final note, this product should almost be looked at as a preventative not a curative product. However, worms have to be in the field for the virus to infect the target and replicate causing an epizootic.  Large populations of earworms, at or above threshold, need a conventional insecticide.

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August 17 Bollworm/Budworm Catches for West TN

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Location CEW TBW
Hardeman (Bolivar) 6 0
Fayette (Whiteville) 29 0
Fayette (Somerville) 26 0
Shelby (Millington) 42 0
Tipton (Covington) 2 0
Tipton (North) 20 0
Lauderdale (Golddust) 35 0
Haywood(West) 8 1
Haywood (Brownsville) 67 0
Madison (WTREC) 41 1
Madison (North) 35 0
Crockett (Alamo) 1 1
Crockett (Friendship) 51 0
Dyer (King Rd) 48 1
Dyer (Dyersburg) 61 0
Lake (Ridgely) 35 2
Gibson (Trenton) 98 0
Gibson (Milan Rec) 4 0
Carroll (Coleman Farm) 15 2
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August 10 Bollworm/Budworm Catches for West TN

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Location CEW TBW
Hardeman (Bolivar) 3 0
Fayette (Whiteville) 31 1
Fayette (Somerville) 12 0
Shelby (Millington) 36 0
Tipton (Covington) 4 0
Tipton (North) 15 0
Lauderdale (Golddust) 17 0
Haywood(West) 21 1
Haywood (Brownsville) 26 0
Madison (WTREC) 48 3
Madison (North) 18 0
Crockett (Alamo) 1 2
Crockett (Friendship) 27 0
Dyer (King Rd) 44 1
Dyer (Dyersburg) 45 1
Lake (Ridgely) 20 2
Gibson (Trenton)
Gibson (Milan Rec) 2 5
Carroll (Coleman Farm) 20 0

Due to the excess rainfall we experienced over the past week, we weren’t able to reach our Trenton location. If moth numbers are exceedingly high, I’ll update the post and send out those numbers tomorrow.

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August Insect Situation

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I’ve received several calls over the past few days about large numbers of immature plant bugs being found 7-10 days after insecticide applications. Corn is quickly drying down, pigweed and other wild hosts have flowered and cotton is at peak bloom in several areas. This makes cotton an ideal host for plant bugs and in some instances the only host. Our top tier products (Transform, Orthene, Diamond, Orthene + pyrethroid) are still controlling plant bugs well and are about the only options we have in August.

Diamond is an insect growth regulator (IGR) that’s primary activity is on plant bug nymphs. Generally speaking, smaller nymphs (1st-2nd) are easier to control with IGRs than larger nymphs. Fields with a high population of larger nymphs (3rd-5th) will see slower control ofplant bugs than fields with predominately small nymphs. Diamond’s efficacy isn’t usually apparent until 10-14 days post treatment. Checking behind Diamond 6 to 7 days post may not give you an accurate representation of what’s happening in your field. However, if nymph numbers, especially small nymphs, are increasing by day 10 retreatment may be justified. Getting the best control with Diamond requires knowing the size of your predominate plant bug nymphs are and a little luck on the timing. Also, Transform and Diamond don’t have activity on stink bugs, the addition of a pyrethoid or organophosphate to oversprays will take care of stink bugs in cotton

A quick note on Orthene, its well known that Orthene’s rainfastness is slow and if you can, give it a full 24 hours. I’ve seen my best control with Orthene when we have 48 hours of no rainfall behind an application. Adjuvants may help decrease the time required to be rainfast somewhat but there’s no substitution for a day of dry weather behind an application.

Bollworm moth in cotton bloom
Bollworm moth in cotton bloom

Bollworm egg lay is picking up in a few places around West TN. So far, I haven’t heard of any failures in 3-gene cotton in Tennessee or the Midsouth. It is highly unlikely you will have to spray for worms in any of our triple gene varieties. Our monitoring efforts of Bt corn, which can help forecast issues in cotton, have shown no survivorship in VIP corn. Double Pro varieties, which are equivalent to BG2, are heavily infested with worms and any BG2 cotton should be scouted closely and applications made on our 20% egg threshold.

Soybeans for the most part have been very quiet for much of the growing season. Recently, I noticed a large increase in kudzu bugs and stink bugs infesting soybeans, this is to be expected since we’re reaching the later part of summer. Also, with much of our corn acres reaching dent or past, I would expect to see a decent surge in stink bug numbers as we continue into August. Pyrethroids are good options for almost every pest we face in beans late season. Lingering populations of resistant brown stink bugs may require a premix insecticide (Endigo, Leverage, etc) or the addition of a 0.5 lb of orthene with your pyrethroid.


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