Pest & Crop


Purdue Cooperative Extension Service


Issue 14, July 7, 2016 • USDA-NIFA Extension IPM Grant

Insects, Mites, and Nematodes

Plant Diseases

Weather Update


Western Bean Cutworm Update and VIDEO(John Obermeyer) -

As you can see from the following pheromone trap report, a considerable number of western bean cutworm moths have emerged and been captured in the last week. Some pest managers have reported finding egg masses ready to hatch (purple color) on non-traited corn. As mentioned last week, the female moths seem to have a preference for egg-laying on the upright leaves just before tasseling. The hatched larvae will crawl immediately to the whorl or leaf axils, depending on corn’s growth stage, for protection while feeding on leaf tissue and/or pollen. The following video, showing early infestation and damage, may be helpful:

Western Bean Cutworm Egg Masses and Young Larvae

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Weird Insect of the Week(John Obermeyer) -

As often happens, when weed control is delayed in fields, unknown insects become nuisance pests to the growing crop. This week, a crop consultant in northeastern Indiana, sent pictures with the “what is this” question. We’ve had similar encounters with the redheaded flea beetle in past years. They have been observed feeding on corn leaves and silks, as well as soybean foliage. The redheaded flea beetle (Systena frontalis) normally feeds on weed species, especially giant ragweed. When weeds are burned down the beetles look no further than the crop for food. This feeding, which catches attention, is nothing more than superficial and certainly doesn’t warrant treatment.

Close-up of redheaded flea beetle and soybean damage.

Close-up of redheaded flea beetle and soybean damage.

Redheaded flea beetle feeding scars on soybean leaves.

Redheaded flea beetle feeding scars on soybean leaves.

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Western Bean Cutworm Pheromone Trap Report(John Obermeyer) -

County Cooperator WBC Trapped
Week 1
6/23/16 - 6/29/16
Week 2 
Adams Kaminsky/New Era Ag 0 3
Adams Roe/Mercer Landmark 0 0
Allen Anderson/Syngenta Seed 0 0
Allen Gynn/Southwind Farms 0 0
Allen Kneubuhler/G&K Concepts 1 2
Bartholomew Bush/Pioneer Hybrids 0 1
Clay Bower/Ceres Solutions/Brazil 0 0
Clay Bower/Ceres Solutions/Bowling Green 0 0
Clay Bower/Ceres Solutions/Clay City 0 lost trap
Clay Bower/Ceres Solutions/Clinton 0 0
Clinton Emanuel/Boone Co. CES 0 0
Clinton Foster/Purdue Entomology 0 0
DeKalb Hoffman/ATA Solutions    
Dubois Eck/Purdue CES 1 0
Elkhart Barry/Helena-Goshen 6 8
Elkhart Kauffman/Crop Tech Inc. 9 58
Fayette Schelle/Falmouth Farm Supply Inc. 0 0
Fountain Mroczkiewicz/Syngenta 8 29
Fulton Jenkins/N. Central Coop-Rochester 0 23
Fulton Jenkins/N. Central Coop-Kewana 2 91
Gibson Schmitz/Gibson Co. CES 0 0
Hamilton Campbell/Beck's Hybrids 1 8
Hamilton Truster/Reynolds Farm Equipment 0 0
Hendricks Nicholson/Nicholson Consulting 0 3
Jasper Overstreet/Purdue CES 6 20
Jasper Ritter/Brodbeck Seeds 0 112
Jay Boyer/Davis PAC   0
Jay Shrack/Ran Del Agri Services 0 0
Jay Temple/Jay County CES    
Jennings Bauerle/SEPAC 0 1
Knox Bower/Ceres Solutions/Vincennes 0 0
Knox Bower/Ceres Solutions/Frichton 0 0
Lake Kleine/Kleine Farms 6 12
Lake Moyer/Dekalb Hybrids, Shelby 25 93
Lake Moyer/Dekalb Hybrids, Schneider 19 156
LaPorte Rocke/Agri-Mgmt Solutions, Wanatah 50 120
Madison Truster/Reynolds Farm Equip. 0 1
Miami Early/Pioneer Hybrids 2 88
Miami Myers/Myers Ag Service    
Newton Moyer/Dekalb Hybrids, Lake Village 39 263
Porter Leuck/PPAC 3 9
Polaski Capouch/M&R Ag Services 1 4
Putnam Nicholson/Nicholson Consulting 0 0
Randolph Boyer/DPAC 0 2
Rush Schelle/Falmouth Farm Supply Inc. 0 0
Shelby Fisher/Shelby Co. Co-Op 0 0
Shelby Simpson/Simpson Farms 0 0
Sullivan Bower/Ceres Solutions/Farmersburg 0 0
Sullivan Bower/Ceres Solutions/Sullivan 0 3
Tippecanoe Bower/Ceres Solutions 5 15
Tippecanoe Nagel/Ceres Solutions 0 7
Tippecanoe Obermeyer/Purdue Entomology 0 1
Tippecanoe Westerfeld/Monsanto 0 5
Tipton Campbell/Beck's Hybrids 0 0
Whitley Walker/NEPAC 1 8

Redheaded flea beetle feeding scars on soybean leaves.

Good eating in this cooperator's western bean cutworm trap. (Photo credit: Eric Anderson)

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2016 Corn Earworm Trap Report(Rick Foster) -

Corn Earworm Trap Report

Corn Earworm Trap Report

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Phytophthora Root and Stem Rot(Kiersten Wise) -

Over the last two weeks we have received increasing reports of stressed or dying soybeans. In many cases, these symptoms have been most noticeable in areas that have received heavy rainfall. The warm, wet conditions have been favorable for Phytophthora root and stem rot, but also other root diseases, and it is important to accurately diagnose the cause of the symptoms observed in a field.

The classic symptoms of Phytophthora root and stem rot are soft, discolored roots and a dark brown lesion that is visible above and below the soil line and moves up the stem (Figure 1). Plants may be stunted and die prematurely. However, the dark brown stem lesion may not always be present, especially if the soybean variety has partial resistance to Phytophthora. In several instances, we have confirmed Phytophthora root and stem rot in soybean plants without seeing the typical brown lesion on the stem. We have also diagnosed Phytophthora root and stem rot in several fields where varieties with the Rps1k gene were planted. This Rps gene has typically performed well against Phytophthora stem rot in Indiana, but it is not infallible. Anne Dorrance of Ohio State University provided a nice summary of how Rps genes work and the level of disease control that can be expected from varieties with these genes in a recent newsletter article that can be accessed here: In fields where the disease is confirmed, take note of the Rps genes (if any) in the variety, and the level of reported partial resistance in the variety.  The next time these fields are planted to soybean, select varieties with Rps genes and a high level of partial resistance to Phytophthora stem rot.

Although Phytophthora root and stem rot is receiving the most attention in the state, we have also observed stunting, root discoloration and premature plant death associated with Fusarium and Rhizoctonia root rots in recent weeks. Therefore, if you are seeing patches of soybeans that are discolored, prematurely dying, or stunted, remember that to accurately determine the specific organism responsible for a suspected disease issue, it is necessary to submit samples to a diagnostic lab such as the Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab,

Figure 1. The dark brown lesion extending from the roots up the stem of the soybean plant is a symptom of Phytophthora stem rot. (<em>Photo Credit: Greg Shaner</em>)
Figure 1. The dark brown lesion extending from the roots up the stem of the soybean plant is a symptom of Phytophthora stem rot (Image courtesy Greg Shaner).

For more information about Phytophthora root and stem rot, see: Dorrance, A.E., D. Mills, A.E. Robertson, M.A. Draper, L. Giesler, and A.Tenuta, 2007. Phytophthora root and stem rot of soybean. The Plant Health Instructor. DOI: 10.1094/PHI-I-2007-0830-07 Reviewed 2012.

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total precipitation

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average temperature

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Contact Information

Purdue Extension Entomology
901 W. State Street
West Lafayette, IN, 47907
(765) 494-8761

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