Author Archives: Sean Malone

Black light trap and vial test update for August 2, 2018

Corn earworm moth captures in black light traps continued to climb this week–please see the attached table (pdf document) for more details: BLT_2_Aug_2018

We have tested 246 corn earworm moths in our vial tests this season, with an average of 15% surviving a 24-hour exposure to the pyrethroid insecticide cypermethrin at 5 micrograms per vial. The line graph is available here: vial_tests_2_Aug_2018

At our research farm in Suffolk this week, we have been finding bollworm eggs in cotton terminals with some small larvae on squares and bolls. Please be sure to scout your fields!

2018 survey of field corn for corn earworm larvae

Statewide, approximately 18% of ears were infested with corn earworm larvae. Corn is considered a nursery crop for corn earworm, allowing the pest to complete a lifecycle and then move on to other crops such as soybean, cotton, and peanut in August. There is a linear correlation between the infestation level in corn and the amount of soybean acreage that gets treated with insecticide for this pest. Please see the attached pdf for more details: CEW_survey_results_2018

Corn earworm moth report for July 26, 2018

Black light trap captures of corn earworm moths in Suffolk really jumped this week, averaging 30 per night (some nights when it wasn’t raining went up to 78). Other locations (Chesapeake, Isle of Wight, Prince George/Templeton, Prince George/Disputanta, Warsaw, and Southampton) averaged only about 1 moth per night this week.

Corn earworm black light trap report for July 19, 2018

Corn earworm moth captures in Virginia black light traps ranged from zero to 2 per night this week. Watson Lawrence in Chesapeake averaged 1 moth per night; LIvvy Preisser in Isle of Wight had 0.6 per night; Scott Reiter reported zero in Prince George (Templeton) and 0.5 per night in Disputanta. Mary Beahm in Warsaw saw 0.1 corn earworm moths per night; and in Suffolk we caught an average of 2.1 per night. We look forward to Dwayne Sanders’ help with operating a trap in Waverly!

In 2017, black light trap captures of corn earworm moths started to spike in the third week of July. Please check back for next week’s report!

Corn earworm report for July 12, 2018

Corn earworm moth numbers have been low in local black light traps. Watson Lawrence reported 1.4 per night in Chesapeake; Livvy Preisser averaged 0.6 per night in Isle of Wight; Mary Beahm had zero in Warsaw; we had 0.9 per night in Suffolk this week.

Virginia Cooperative Extension Agents and Virginia Tech employees will be scouting field corn for corn earworm larvae this month as part of Dr. Taylor’s annual survey. They examine ears in five corn fields per county and calculate the average percent infested ears. Corn is a nursery crop for corn earworm–the percent of infested ears can be a useful indicator of the pressure to expect in other crops such as soybean, cotton, peanut, etc. when moths emerge and migrate out of corn. We’ll provide results of the survey in the first week of August.

We have tested 80 corn earworm moths in our cypermethrin vial tests this season, with only 8% surviving the 24-hour exposure to 5 micrograms/vial of cypermethrin. It would be great to see moth survival remain that low, but we need to continue testing to see what happens when we get the flight out of corn and later into the season.

Section 18 for sulfoxaflor (Transform WG) on sorghum for sugarcane aphid

The EPA has granted a Section 18 for the use of Transform WG (50% a.i. sulfoxaflor) on sorghum for managing sugarcane aphid in certain counties in Virginia. The expiration date is November 30, 2018. All applicable directions for use, restrictions, and precautions on the label, and Worker Protection Standards, must be followed except as modified in the Section 18 document. In part, the Section 18 lists a foliar application rate of 0.75-1.5 oz of product per acre, with a maximum of 2 applications per year, resulting in a seasonal maximum application rate of 3.0 oz of product per acre per year. Please be sure to read and follow the entire label and Section 18. Thanks to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Office of Pesticide Services, for their assistance.

Invitation to NRCS/VCE Cover Crop Training–April 12, 2018

You are invited to attend the 2018 Natural Resources Conservation Service/Virginia Cooperative Extension Cover Crop Training on Thursday, April 12, 2018 (9:00 am to 3:30 pm) at the Virginia Tech Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center (6321 Holland Rd., Suffolk, VA). The event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided–please RSVP to Gail White ( by April 5 so that she can get a head count for lunch. Here is the agenda: Final Agenda_April 12 2018

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact the Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center at 757-657-6450 during business hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to discuss accommodations 5 days prior to the event.  *TDD number is (800) 828-1120.