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True Armyworms Invading Sweet Corn!

Chuck Bornt, Team Leader, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

June 7, 2018

This article was published in the June 7th 2018, ENYCHP Vegetable News.  Click here to view the full newsletter.

The last two weeks have had us finding some True Armyworm adult moths in our traps.  These moths move up from southern overwintering sites on storm fronts.  If you recall, we've had some issues with these buggers in the past and sweet corn isn't their only host as we've seen them attack several vegetable crops including sweet corn, brassicas, tomatoes, peppers and greens.   Not only is their damage a problem, but on things like lettuce, the droppings can affect marketability of the crop.  

Armyworms, whether Fall or True, are very eager feeders and can do a lot of damage in a short time.  Their feeding damage tends to appear ragged, with large holes eaten in the leaves and they leave lots and lots of sawdust looking frass (insect terminology for fecal matter).  They tend to feed on the top sides of crops during the night and on the undersides or deeper into the plant during the day.   

The adults are fairly large moths which are primarily nocturnal and have the ability to lay up to 2,000 eggs in their two week life.  The eggs will hatch in 7 to 14 days and the larvae begin feeding immediately, going through seven stages of development over several weeks.  The worms tend to be greenish brown (with some variations) with a pale white stripe on its back and an orange stripe on each side of the body.  One other distinguishable feature is a dark brown to black triangle located on the outside of each of the four pairs of prologs found towards the hind end of the body.   

Thresholds for when to treat corn have been established and should be treated when 25>#/b### of the plants are showing damage (Source: Integrated Pest Management Program, Missouri University).  For sweet corn and leafy greens, best control is achieved when the larvae are small (1st and 2nd instar) and applied usually later in the evening when the larvae tend to be more active and feeding on the upper surfaces of the plants.    

There are a number of insecticides labeled for leafy greens including these organic products:  Pyganic (pyrethrin), Dipel (Bacillus thuringinensis, subsp. Kurstaki), Xentari ((Bacillus thuringiensis, var. aizawai), Aza-Direct (azadirachtin), Azera (pre-mix of azadirachtin and a pyrethroid) and Entrust (check the label for the labeled rates as formulations vary for these products).   Again, these products are going to work best when applied to small larvae but if they get ahead of you, tank mixing a pyrethroid (Aza-Direct, Pyganic etc.) with a Bt (Dipel, Xentari etc) will improve performance.  Repeat applications may also be necessary depending on how long the egg laying period and development conditions are.  

Conventional insecticides labeled for armyworm control on sweet corn and leafy greens including Warrior II, Baythroid (both are recommended for 1st and 2nd instars), Coragen and Lannate.  Ensure that you get thorough coverage, of the canopy with any of these products including the whorl in the case of sweet corn.  Late evening applications also keep insecticides wet longer ensuring larval contact and ingestion of the insecticides.  Other insecticides labeled for sweet corn include Asana XL (1st and 2nd instars), Mustang Max, Radiant SC and Blackhawk.  Please check labels for rates.

army 1Note the ragged feeding and dark colored frass. (Photo: Teresa Rusinek)



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Apples

Apples

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Beets

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Blueberries

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Broccoli

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Brussels Sprouts

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Cabbage

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Cauliflower

Cauliflower

Cherries

Cherries

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Dry Beans

Dry Beans

Eggplant

Eggplant

Ethnic Vegetables

Ethnic Vegetables

Garlic

Garlic

Grapes

Grapes

Horseradish

Horseradish

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Leeks

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Melons

Melons

Nectarines

Nectarines

Onions

Onions

Parsnips

Parsnips

Peaches

Peaches

Pears

Pears

Peas

Peas

Peppers

Peppers

Plums

Plums

Potatoes

Potatoes

Pumpkins / Gourds

Pumpkins / Gourds

Radishes

Radishes

Raspberries / Blackberries

Raspberries / Blackberries

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Rutabaga

Rutabaga

Snap Beans

Snap Beans

Squash - Summer

Squash - Summer

Squash- Winter

Squash- Winter

Strawberries

Strawberries

Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Turnips

Turnips

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Upcoming Events

Biocontrol Trial and IPM Field Meeting

August 20, 2019
4pm-6pm
Fort Plain, NY

4-5 pm: Dr's Amara Dunn and Meg McGrath will discuss powdery mildew control using biocontrols and organic and conventional fungicides.  Crystal Stewart from the ENYCHP will provide a tour of the biocontrol trial and additional squash and pumpkin mini-variety trial.

5-6pm: Walk the farm fields with Dr's Dunn and McGrath and with CVP specialist Elizabeth Buck to talk about integrated strategies to control pests, diseases, and weeds on the vegetables farm.  Bring samples and questions!

6-?pm: Discussion and light refreshments 

*Look for the CCE sign to park on a cross street right before the farm.

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Ag Manager Webinar Series: Ag Tax Topics - Sales Tax and Property Tax Issues for Ag in NYS

August 27, 2019
12:30 - 12:50pm

Join Liz Higgins from the CCE ENYCHP every other Tuesday at 12:30pm throughout the summer as she discusses pertinent business topics for busy farm managers.
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Willsboro Farm High Tunnel Twilight Meeting

August 27, 2019
5:00pm - 7:00pm
Willsboro, NY

Join vegetable specialists Elisabeth Hodgdon, Jud Reid, and farm manager Mike Davis for a high tunnel and field tour at Cornell's Willsboro Research Farm, where they will share research results for the following projects: 
  • Striped cucumber beetle management suing netting and row cover
  • Varietal differences in cucumber susceptibility to striped cucumber beetle
  • Ground cherry and goldenberry production in field and high tunnel environments
  • Overwintered high tunnel spinach nitrogen fertility 

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Announcements

Resources from CCE ENYCHP!

We are developing new ways to connect with the CCE ENYCHP team this year! We have a Youtube page located at this link. Check out videos on Table Grape Production, Pest Updates and the 20 Minute Ag Manager - in 4 Minutes series

We have a Facebook Page here as well as an Instagram page. We keep these places updated with current projects, events, and other interesting articles and deadlines.

There are also text alerts available. Fruit and vegetable farmers in 17 Eastern NY counties can now receive real time alerts on high risk disease and pest outbreaks texted directly to their cell phone. The Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture program, which is supported by local Cornell Cooperative Extension associations, will now offer text alerts to those that enroll in our program in 2019. 

The text alerts will be reserved for important crop alerts that could impact management decisions immediately. For instance, if there were an outbreak of Late Blight in the area, this would be transmitted to vegetable growers.

Farmers can choose the crop for which they wish to receive updates. Additionally they can request that Ag Business Alerts be sent to them. These alerts might include due dates for crop insurance deadlines, market opportunities etc.

If you have questions, please contact enychp@cornell.edu


Podcasts

Biweekly Vegetable News Podcast - Episode 8 - 08/07/19

August 7, 2019
The August 7th, 2019 edition of the Eastern New York Vegetable News covers the following topics:

Cover Crop Options for Late Summer (1:28)
Plectosporium and Angular Leaf Spot of Cucurbits (5:57)
Tomato Caterpillar Pests and a Late Blight Update (14:39)
New York State Bill to Eliminate the Use of Chlorpyrifos (22:25)
Basil Downy Mildew Management (24:04)
Garlic Anthracnose and Bacterial Issues in Onions Grown on Plastic (28:20)
Offering Retirement Benefits on the Farm (33:10)
Salt Water Flotation Test for Spotted Wing Drosophila (35:08)
Farm Labor Housing Update (39:45)

Here are links to additional resources mentioned in the episode:

Tomato Blight Alerts and Updates:
http://usablight.org/

Basil Downy Mildew
Dr. Meg McGrath: 631-727-3595 or mtm3@cornell.edu
http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/NewsArticles/BasilDowny.html http://blogs.cornell.edu/livegpath/extension/basil-downy-mildew/

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