Blacklight bulbs aid farmers in blacklight insect traps
With farmers making their first alfalfa cut in southern Wisconsin, growers will also have to monitor their crops for potato leafhoppers that will migrate from the alfalfa into other vegetables such as snap beans or potatoes. Growers should be scouting their crop to watch for early damage.
The European corn borer is pupating now and the first spring moths should appear in the coming week in southern Wisconsin (at 374 DD). Sweet corn growers should have their blacklight traps up by now and should think about getting their pheromone traps up for corn earworm monitoring. The corn earworm doesn't overwinter in Wisconsin but migrates up from the Gulf States and arrives sometime in June depending on the weather patterns. Warrior and Capture are the recommended insecticides for control of both of these insects in sweet corn. Treatment intervals will vary based on the number of moths caught in the traps and the temperature. I have a nice fact sheet that John Wedberg and I put together a few years ago that gives growers the details on trapping, thresholds, and treatment and I'd be happy to send this to anyone who wants a copy.
The first generation of cabbage maggot http://www.uwex.edu/ces/wihort/gardenfacts/X1018.pdf is doing its damage to cole crops that have been transplanted. The larvae are maggot-like and will feed on the roots of the plant. If growers notice that plants aren't looking right, they should dig them up and examine the roots for maggots or damage. Chlorpyrifos (Dursban) is your best bet for controlling cabbage maggots. However, it's applied at transplant and if the crop's already in and they're seeing damage, it's too late. Diazinon is also registered but it only provides fair control and is also a product that needed to be applied at planting.
Along the same line, because of the cool, wet spring, seed corn maggots are causing problems in seeded crops like corn, vine crops, peas, and beans - basically crops that are direct-seeded. Stands will be spotty with bare areas in the field where the maggots are feeding on the roots just like the cabbage maggot.
I've also been getting reports about bean leaf beetles being out already. Despite the nasty winter these guys survived nicely and are causing problems in both snap and soy beans already in the southern part of the state.
Growers should monitor new cucumber and melon transplants as soon as they are set out for cucumber beetles because populations can explode rapidly and this insect will transmit bacterial wilt to cucumbers and melons thus wiping out the plant. If growers are seeing 4-5 beetles per 50 plants they should treat with Capture, Sevin, or if they are organic, Rotenone. If there are more than 20 beetles per plant, even if the beetles are controlled with insecticide, the shear numbers make it likely that the bacteria have been transmitted to the plant already and they will likely see plant loss later on.
A couple of field days and other programs to announce: The Wisconsin Fresh Market Vegetable Growers Association will be participating in the Berry Grower's summer field day on July 18th at County Bumpkin Farm in the Dells from 9:00 - 3:00. The veggie program will consist of AJ Bussan and Jim Nienhuis discussing their early-ripening paste tomato trial; Bob Tomesh discussing his heirloom tomatoes; and I will discuss and demonstrate sweet corn insect monitoring and management as well as cole crop monitoring and management. I'm not sure what the berry session will be. Brian Smith will be working with Mary Ellen Bell on a press release for the monthly packet. I will send the ag-hort list more information when I get it.
West Madison will be holding its annual summer Horticulture Field Day on Saturday, August 16. (Check the ‘Events Calendar’ on the Master Gardener Web site http://www.hort.wisc.edu/mastergardener/ for statewide field day and other events.) This year the feature will be a Mexican Garden coordinated by Jim Nienhuis and Irwin Goldman. They are growing common Latin vegetables and will discuss their culture and use in cooking at the field day.
Lis Friemoth, John Hendrickson and I had a conference call yesterday and are planning what's turning out to be a series of marketing and business workshops for fresh market vegetable growers. The first will be in early November and will be on accounting basics as well as filling out the farm tax form. There's another workshop scheduled on payroll taxes and worker's comp for sometime in 2004 and we talked about another workshop on marketing and when John Hendrickson gets some data from a grant project he's currently working on we'll put on a workshop on basic farm economics and production budgets. I just wanted to give you a heads-up on what's coming in the future.
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