Monday, July 11, 2016

Hickory shuckworm, fall webworm and scab: Time to spray again

   I've been watching the weather and monitoring our pecan grove trying to keep to top of possible pest problems. I'm really worried about scab get started on our nut crop. Scab infections can spread rapidly on pecan shucks during the period of rapid nut growth that occurs during July. We have received numerous rain showers since the last time we made a fungicide application and the time has come to apply another protective layer on fungicide on the nuts (2 weeks between sprays).

    In scouting our pecan grove, we've seen three insect pests that I would like to keep under control. The first is fall webworm (photo at left). We don't have an overwhelming webworm problem in the orchard but there are just enough first generation colonies that, if left untreated,  may lead to a huge second generation problem in August.
    We have also collected several dropped nuts damaged by hickory shuckworm  You can identify hickory shuckworm damage by finding an ovipostion scar surrounded by a ring of white insect scales (photo at right). With a low to moderate crop this year I want to make sure we hold onto as many nuts as possible. Controlling hickory shuckworm will help maintain the current nut set.

    The third insect pest we have found in our pecan grove this week is Japanese beetle. This is a new pest for us and one that is just starting to move into our area. This shiny green beetle with copper-colored wing covers, usually feeds in groups of several beetles. Pecan leaves take on a tattered appearance following beetle feeding.
   In spraying for pecan scab today, we included an insecticide in the spray tank to make sure we keep webworm, shuckworm, and Japanese beetle under control.