Posted by romeethredge on July 2, 2014
I’ve been getting complaints about folks not being able to control cowpea curculio and having wormy peas. Here’s an update on where we are with curculio control.
Cowpea Curculio Pest Update
Stormy Sparks, David Riley and Jenna Kicklighter, Department of Entomology, The University of Georgia, Tifton Campus
We have been receiving many calls recently concerning the cowpea curculio and how to control this pest. Wish we could give a simple answer, or actually any effective answer, but we are facing a critical challenge with this insect.
Background on the pest
The cowpea curculio, Chalcodermus aeneus, occurs throughout the Southeastern United States. While this pest will feed on and injure multiple legumes, its preferred host is cowpeas. We occasionally get reports of it in snap beans, but this is relatively rare and frequently limited along the field edge. Adults are small black weevils with deeply pitted elytra and a coarsely punctate thorax. Adults overwinter in protected habitats around fields and enter cowpea fields starting around April. Reproduction occurs in the pods of cowpeas. As with most weevils, females eat holes into the pods and seeds and then turn around and place eggs within these holes. After oviposition, the hole is filled resulting in a wart-like raised area on the surface of the pod. Feeding holes are not filled and remain as open punctures into the pod. Once an egg is placed into a pod, the eggs hatch and all larval development (4 instars) is completed within the pod. The 4th instar larvae eats its way out of the pod, drops to the ground, and burrows 1 to 3 inches down before forming a pupal cell where it pupates and eventually emerges as an adult. The entire life cycle from egg to adult requires 30 to 40 days. Curculio adults can be difficult to find in fields and will play dead when picked up. If you enter a field and readily see curculio adults, you have a very heavy infestation. Curculios are reported to rarely fly (although I question this), thus, rotation away from infested areas is recommended (definitely avoid sequential plantings in the same area).
Management of Cowpea Curculio
As with most weevils, curculio management is challenging under the best situations. Because most of the life cycle is completed in a protected environment (inside of pods) the only stage readily available for control with insecticides is the adult. Effective control requires that you kill the adults before they oviposit. This generally requires a preventive spray program with a highly effective insecticide. Historically this has been accomplished with sprays started at pin-stage (or basically first bloom) and repeated for four applications on a 4 to 5 day schedule. Organophosphate and similar products were used until resistance reduced their efficacy. Pyrethroids (Brigade, Karate, and many others) replaced these products over a decade ago and provided excellent control until recently (first field failures occurred about 3 years ago). Recent efficacy trials conducted at UGA and grower experience have confirmed the greatly reduced performance of the pyrethroid insecticides and have not been able to identify any labeled alternative product with satisfactory efficacy. Even experimental insecticides have offered little promise. Current in-field recommendations include pyrethroid plus lannate (or a labeled synergist) tank mixes; however, under even moderate pest pressure experience suggests that no labeled insecticides will provide adequate control. We continue to look for efficacious insecticides and work toward obtaining labels, but this does not look promising for the short term.
We are evaluating alternative approaches, such as post-harvest treatments to reduce overwintering populations, but these are experimental approaches and their potential efficacy is unknown. A trap has also been developed, but its purpose is to monitor periods of adult activity. It is not a control method.
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Posted by romeethredge on April 26, 2014
Snap beans are a quick crop but this year they got a slow start with the cool and wet weather. They are looking better recently, however and the oldest fields will soon be blooming.
Here’s Brad Thompson, our local snap bean guru, in one of his oldest fields.
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Posted by romeethredge on March 10, 2014
I love southern peas: Pink eye purple hull or Blackeyed peas or Crowder peas, they are all good, but no one likes wormy peas. We have a real problem with the cowpea curculio which causes this.
We have a new UGA publication which discusses this pest. Here’s an excerpt from the publication.
“Southern pea or cowpea is a traditional crop
in Georgia that could be one of the most important legume crops in the
southeastern U.S. if not for serious yield loss caused by the insect known as
the cowpea curculio, Chalcodermus aeneus Boheman.
Damage caused by cowpea curculio in southern pea is two-fold. First, the adults feed on and lay
eggs in the pods; those eggs hatch into larvae that feed inside the pods. This
can significantly reduce green pod and shelled pea yield per acre. Secondly,
live larvae inside the harvested pods can contaminate and drastically reduce the
marketability of peas during processing.”
Posted in Agriculture, Entomology, Horticulture, vegetables | Tagged: entomology, vegetables | Leave a Comment »
Posted by romeethredge on December 6, 2013
Last week I had a photo of a cotton module that was almost completely burned. If there’s a spark during the cotton picking process we can see fires due to the large amount of air used in moving cotton through the picker fanning the flame. Also, this can be a result of moisture in the cotton.
There are lots of round modules on the gin yard now as picking progresses.
This week’s question is about Quincy, Florida. Just south of the Georgia line below Bainbridge is the beautiful town of Quincy. I went there yesterday for the Gadsden Tomato Forum. It was a really good update on tomato production for area growers. I noticed this Coca Cola art just off the town square, you can see the Gadsden County Courthouse in the background. Also, below that, is a photo I took of the Leaf Theater. I want to ask what these things have to do with Quincy’s history?
Posted in vegetables | Tagged: vegetables | 2 Comments »
Posted by romeethredge on November 25, 2013
The Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference is the LARGEST educational conference and trade show in the southeastern United States that unites growers, vendors and suppliers. Anyone with an interest in specialty crop agriculture is invited to be a part of this event to address food safety, specific commodity sessions on production practices and increased yields, marketing strategies, and interact with key suppliers and growers. This event will be held January 9-12, 2014 at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center!
For more information go to: http://www.seregionalconference.com/ and from there you can register and find out more information about the conference.
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Posted by romeethredge on November 22, 2013
An informational forum will be held in Quincy Florida concerning commercial tomato production.
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Posted by romeethredge on November 14, 2013
Last week I had a photo of a crop just coming up in narrow rows and it was carrots. I had many correct answers. Lots of smart folks out there. Several hundred acres are grown here in most years. They are very good and sweet.
“Soil and climatic conditions in South Georgia are ideal for the production of quality carrots. South
Georgia’s sandy soils are better for uniform carrot growth than heavy clay soils. During fall and winter,
daytime temperatures are warmer and nights are cooler. These conditions promote sugar storage in carrots,
making carrots produced in south Georgia sweeter and having better color than others grown anywhere else
in the continental United States. Carrots grown in Georgia do not have a bitter taste or strong aroma. Thus,
on the basis of quality we can compete with carrots from Arizona, Florida, Texas or California. Production
time in other leading states, such as Michigan, Colorado, Washington, and most other states will not coincide
with Georgia production.”
Here is this week’s question.
What is this and what is it good for?
Posted in vegetables | Tagged: vegetables | 1 Comment »
Posted by romeethredge on August 16, 2013
A grower called me, asking if geese will eat up his young southern pea plants. I didn’t know, so I went to observe them and there were about 50 in the pea field. There was no damage to the plants where they were, so I guess they were just hanging out there. We’ll keep an eye on them.
Maybe they will provide pigweed control.
Posted in vegetables, Wildlife | Tagged: peas, Wildlife | Leave a Comment »
Posted by romeethredge on June 7, 2013
It’s sweet corn time in Georgia. The mule trains are running slowly through the fields. Most sweet corn is hand harvested after the tassels and upper stalk is cut off with a strange looking mover with blades 4 feet high. The guys cut it off and toss handfuls of corn onto the wagon and it is packed into crates and loaded onto the truck attached to the mule train. As soon as it is loaded it goes to the nearby precooler and water close to freezing is poured through it to hold in the sweetness and goodness of the sweet corn. Then it is loaded onto trucks to go to market.
Posted in vegetables | Tagged: sweet corn | 1 Comment »