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Number 1347
CORN -Keep a Watch for Gray Leaf Spot SOYBEAN Kudzu Bug Not Crying Wolf TOBACCO

July 9, 2013
PEST OF HUMANS -Potential Pest Problems Following Extended Rains FUNGICIDES -Some Principles of Fungicide Resistance V: Ecological Fitness

-Disease Update for the Week of July 8

-Tobacco Hornworm Control

CORN Keep a Watch for Gray Leaf Spot By Paul Vincelli, Extension Plant Pathologist This is just a reminder of the factors that favor a positive yield response from a strobilurin fungicide in corn. Figure 1 lays this out graphically.

Disease pressure is, of course, the primary factor determining the probability of a benefit from a foliar fungicide in corn. With all the rain this season, gray leaf spot (Figure 2) may be wisely active. Producers may wish to scout fields for evidence of disease activity. Scouting guidelines for gray leaf spot originated from Iowa State University, and many universities have adopted these with little to no modification. They are: 1. Consider a fungicide application if: a. The hybrid is rated as susceptible or moderately susceptible, AND, b. 50 percent of the plants in a field have disease lesions present on the third leaf below the ear leaf or higher prior to tasseling. 2. Consider a fungicide application if: a. The hybrid is rated as moderately resistant, AND, b. 50 percent of the plants in a field have disease lesions present on the third leaf below the ear leaf or higher prior to tasseling, AND, c. Additional factors or conditions that favor disease development are present (See Figure 1)

Figure 1. Factors that increase the probability of benefit from a foliar fungicide in corn. The top five factors are often the most important.

These are approximate guidelines, and the disease can be unpredictable. Nevertheless, these guidelines can be helpful tools in making rational spray decisions.

Like Kentucky, most of Tennessees soybean production is in the western portion of the state. None the less, this activity in eastern Tennessee provides a foothold in our area and represents the infestation closest to Kentucky. In addition, this probably represents establishment (a locally overwintered population) and not introduction because this pest was discovered in eastern Tennessee in previous years. It is as yet unknown how important this pest will be in Kentucky soybeans. However, it has become a major pest within two years of discovery in the soybean production states to the south of us. I see no reason to believe that this will not be the case in Kentucky. It is therefore important for us to keep a watch out for this pest. My guess is that it will first appear in counties with kudzu along the interstate corridors that handle traffic from east Tennessee, the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama. This includes I-75, I-65 and I-24. Producers and other interested parties would do well to look for this bug in kudzu and soybeans that border these highways.

Figure 2. Young lesions of gray leaf spot of corn. Image of Doug Jardine, Kansas State University.

SOYBEAN Kudzu Bug Not Crying Wolf By Douglas W. Johnson, Extension Entomologist Any number of you are aware that I have been talking about the arrival of Kudzu bug in Kentucky for the past two years. Fortunately, so far as I know, this invasive pest has not arrived in the commonwealth. Nevertheless, it approaches ever nearer to our area. Dr. Scott Stewart, my colleague in Tennessee, is now dealing with Kudzu bug infestations in several southeastern Tennessee counties (See his article through the link immediately below). (See:

Though kudzu bug is new to the United States, not known to be present in Kentucky, and has no other species in the same family in the Americas, it should be pretty easy to identify. It is an odd looking creature that doesnt look like anything you are used to seeing in soybeans. Its closest relatives would be the insects we commonly call stinkbugs. There are many species of stinkbugs, but in Kentucky soybeans they are usually restricted to two groups -- the green and brown stinkbugs. (Note: there is a new species of brown stinkbug making its way across Kentucky. This species, the brown marmorated stinkbug, is also likely to be a significant pest of soybeans, but that is another story.)

Kudzu bug eggs are small and barrel shaped similar to stinkbug eggs, but are laid in a double row laying on their side rather than sitting upright in a cluster. Nymphs are the immature forms that hatch from the eggs. Their overall body shape is similar to the adult, but smaller, and they appear to be fuzzy or spiny while the adults are smooth.

Kudzu bug Facts Though the kudzu plant aids in overwintering and is a reproductive host, our colleagues in the deep south have shown that the kudzu plant is NOT required for kudzu bugs to establish. Soybean will do just fine. Kudzu bugs are infesting several soybean fields in southeastern Tennessee. Kudzu bugs are now established in Alabama and Mississippi. Kudzu bugs are now in Virginia, but not on a direct interstate route to Kentucky. Kudzu bugs are most detrimental to early planted soybeans. Current research in the Carolinas and Georgia indicate that treatment is required when there is an average of 1 immature or two adults per sweep. One of the biggest mistakes in kudzu bug control is spraying too early, requiring a second unnecessary spray. Kentucky soybeans along the I-75, I-65 and I-24 corridors are likely at the greatest risk. These interstates bear traffic directly from infested areas. Kudzu bugs are also home invaders. They will try to get into structures during the winter months. The place to find all things kudzu bug is:

Figure 3. Adult Kudzu bug on soybean leaf. Dr. Jeremy Greene, Clemson University.

The adult Kudzu bugs are 1/6- 1/4 long, oblong, perhaps the size of an English pea; are olive-green colored with brown speckles, and produce a mildly offensive odor when disturbed. In the United States, characteristics of the adult kudzu bug useful in distinguishing it from other stinkbugs include: the plate in the center of its back (called the scutellum) is broader along the rear than it is along the head end, and much wider than it is long. The kudzu bug has a round body shape rather than the triangular to semi-elliptical body shape of our native stinkbugs as well as a distinctive head shape.

Figure 4. Kudzu bug eggs and nymphs. Dr. Philip Roberts, University of Georgia.

TOBACCO Disease Update for the Week of July 8 By Kenny Seebold, Extension Plant Pathologist Current situation Blue mold was apparently found on tobacco in Lancaster, PA on or just before June 27. We have yet to find blue mold in Kentucky, or any of the other tobacco-producing states south of Lancaster so how the disease got into PA is a mystery. Given the location of the blue mold outbreak and our recent weather pattern, I think the chances were slim that the blue mold pathogen could have moved from PA to KY or surrounding areas. We should keep an eye out for the disease despite the low risk and be ready to apply fungicides if needed. Angular leaf spot (Fig. 5) has shown up on burley tobacco in several parts of Kentucky, and were seeing quite a bit more than we normally do. The excessive amounts of rain that fell last week created conditions that are favorable for the development and spread of this disease. Like other foliar diseases caused by bacteria, angular leaf spot can develop quickly during rainy conditions, particularly when precipitation is heavy. The pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae pv. angulata, is dispersed from foliar lesions readily by rain splash, and heavy downpours can aid the entry of the pathogen into healthy leaves. The best possible control for angular leaf spot is dry weather, which has been in short supply as of late. In terms of chemical control, agricultural streptomycin (Ag Streptomycin or Agri-Mycin 17) can be applied as a foliar spray at a rate of 8 oz/50 gal of water per acre in fields where the disease is active. Repeat applications can be made as needed at 7-day intervals. The efficacy of agricultural streptomycin against angular leaf spot tends to be greater if treatments are made as soon as symptoms of disease are seen. Do not mix streptomycin with Quadris, since we are not sure that leaf injury wont occur if these two are tankmixed. Before a grower applies streptomycin for control of angular leaf spot, make sure that the problem has been diagnosed correctly. There are certain environmental and nutritional issues that

can mimic, to some extent, the symptoms of angular leaf spot. Treating with streptomycin in these situations will do no good, and will cost the producer in terms of time wasted and money spent. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Figure 5. Symptoms of angular leaf spot on burley tobacco. Spots tend to be blocky, and bounded by leaf veins. A chlorotic halo often surrounds the spots, which will appear water-soaked initially will later take on a dark color. Lesions can coalesce and form large, blighted areas on the foliage, especially after heavy rain.

Tobacco Hornworm Control By Lee Townsend, Extension Entomologist The second brood of tobacco hornworms can be very destructive because eggs are laid over a long period of time so populations in a field may reach treatable levels more than once. Field checks for hornworms provide the best chance to catch potentially damaging infestations before they cause significant yield loss and allow timing of treatments before the worms are large enough to reduce the effectiveness of the treatment.

Hornworm infestations can be assessed by carefully examining groups of 20 plants at randomly selected locations over a field. Use a minimum of 5 locations per acre, add 2 stops for each additional acre of field size. Eggs are laid singly in the upper third of the plant and are distributed relatively randomly over a field. Hornworms generally feed from the underside of the leaf so watch for damage and turn leaves over to find live worms. Treat when there are 5 or more healthy hornworms per 50 plants. Many hornworms may have small, white, footballshaped objects on their backs. These are cocoons of a tiny wasp that develops inside the hornworm and kills it. Hornworms with these cocoons should not be included in your counts because they are no longer feeding. Emerging wasps will attack other caterpillars. Two species, the tobacco hornworm and the tomato hornworm, occur in Kentucky. The tobacco hornworm, the more common of the two, has 7 oblique white slashes on each side of the body and a curved, red horn. The tomato hornworm has 8 V-shaped marks on each side and a straight, blue-black horn. The life cycle, damage, and activity period of both is so similar that, for management purposes, they can be lumped together.

Tobacco hornworm control options Insecticide & Group Harvest Interval (days) + comments 0 budworm, other caterpillars. Most effective against small caterpillars 7 also aphids, budworms (egg stage), flea beetles 14 budworms, other caterpillars 1 budworm, other caterpillars 14 budworm and other caterpillars 3 budworms, other caterpillars, thrips 14 budworms, aphids, flea beetles, Japanese beetles Restricted Entry Interval (hrs) 4

Bt products Agree, Biobit, Dipel Javelin, Lepinox, XenTari

Assail 30 SG or 70WP Acetamiprid (4a)


Belt SC (28) Flubendiamide


Coragen SC (28) Chlorantraniliprole Demin EC* (6) Emamectin benzoate Tracer SC Spinosad (5)


Voliam Flexi Chlorantraniliprole + Thiamethoxam


* Restricted Use
Figure 6. Tobacco hornworm.

Hornworms do the bulk of their feeding from the time they are 1-1/2" long until they are full grown (about 4"). Try to apply treatments when most caterpillars are 2 long or less, this should result in best control. Large worms are more difficult to control.

PESTS OF HUMANS Potential Pest Problems Following Extended Rains By Lee Townsend, Extension Entomologist Several arthropods (and slugs) thrive and arrive after prolonged rains. Expect an increase in accidental invaders including, spiders, millipedes, centipedes, and sowbugs or pillbugs that enter structures in response to high water or extend there are of activity because of humidity and dampness. Also, there are midges, gnats, mosquitoes, and springtails. These require moisture or high humidity and can multiply rapidly following rains. A whole group of insects, including many beetles, are associated with molds and fungi that increase under wet conditions. Fortunately, most of these creatures are temporary nuisances that will disappear with drier conditions. Until then, swatting, wiping, and collecting them with a shop vac can be effective. Avoid the temptation to over-apply insecticides; most are temporary and problems will be resolved with sunshine and dry air.

floors of houses. Common points of entry include door thresholds (especially at the base of sliding glass doors), expansion joints, and through the voids of concrete block walls. Frequent sightings of these pests indoors usually mean that there are large numbers have been breeding on the outside in the lawn, or beneath mulch, leaf litter or debris close to the foundation. Because of their moisture requirement, they do not survive indoors more than a few days.

Figure 8. Midges and gnats.

Midges and gnats are common names for a large number of small, non-biting flies. Many species look like mosquitoes and may form annoying swarms or clouds in the air but they do not bite and usually only live for a few days. Large mating swarms of adults often appear about dusk and may occur for several days, especially after a prolonged wet period. Many gnats are attracted to light and may be a nuisance, landing on people or entering homes or businesses. These tiny flies do not feed. The immature stages develop in water in pools, containers, ponds, and clogged rain gutters, along with mosquitoes. Some develop in wet soil and accumulations of leaves and other matter. Most of the gnats feed on decaying plant matter, some live in very stagnant or polluted water. The adults only live long enough to mate, lay eggs, and die. Eggs are laid in masses in the water or on aquatic vegetation. The life cycle usually takes about 4 to 5 weeks. There may be several generations during the summer but these insects usually disappear with the onset of dry weather.

Figure 7. Flat-backed millipede note 2 pairs of legs per segment (Photo B. Jeffiers).

Millipedes can be temporary nuisances as accidental invaders around houses near woods or with naturalized areas around the foundation. Large numbers of flat-backed millipedes, recognizable by the small side flanges extending laterally from each segment are typically active now in Kentucky. However, they may range more widely as a result of wet weather. Millipedes often invade crawl spaces, damp basements, and ground

There are no good alternatives for control of the adults, other than some pressurized aerosol sprays containing pyrethrins. These are impractical for treating anything other than small areas. These products only kill insects that are directly hit by spray particles, there is no lasting or residual effect. More gnats will quickly enter the area after the spray has settled. Long term control requires trying to eliminate breeding sites, wet areas or standing water. Often, however, this is not practical. Water should not be treated with any insecticide in an attempt to control gnats. The potential harm to the environment and wildlife is too great to justify an application for a temporary nuisance. Already there have been some problems with springtails, small, wingless insects that are very abundant in moist leaf litter or soils with high levels of organic matter. They can hop around like tiny fleas. Springtails typically feed on decaying plant material or fungi that grow in humid areas. They can enter homes from around the foundation or openings to crawlspaces. In some cases, springtails can live for some time in damp areas of houses and buildings that meet their moisture needs. These insects also can live in pots containing over-watered houseplants. Allowing the soil to dry out will usually eliminate them. Occasionally, they can infest greenhouses where they may nibble on plant root hairs or tender leaves.

Springtails are not harmful but their presence in an area indicates moist conditions that may come from things such as water leaks or condensation from sweaty pipes. Correcting these problems will end the infestation and the potential for more serious water or mold damage in a structure. Using a fan or dehumidifier to increase ventilation and to provide a drying effect in the home can be very effective as can repair of plumbing leaks and dripping pipes. These actions will eliminate the moisture that springtails need for food and survival. Aerosol insecticides that are labeled for indoor insect control can be used to reduce springtails temporarily but this does not correct the moisture or humidity problems that allow the insects to thrive. Outside the home, remove excessive mulch and moist leaves, prune shrubbery and ground cover, and eliminate low, moist areas around the house foundation to permit proper air circulation. Remove wet, moldy wood or other moldy items.

FUNGICIDES Some Principles of Fungicide Resistance V: Ecological Fitness By Paul Vincelli, Extension Plant Pathologist Previous articles in this series have presented basic concepts about how fungicide resistance develops in populations of infectious fungi. This article presents a more advanced concept, but one that is key to understanding fungicide resistance. Ecologists use the term fitness to describe the overall ability of an organism to thrive and reproduce in a given environment. Many qualities contribute to ecological fitness. An obvious example is fungicide resistance. In a crop field where a fungicide is being used, if a spore has genetic resistance to that fungicide, it is more fit than a spore that doesnt. Think of fungicide resistance like a coat of armor, protecting the fungus from the fungicide (Figure 10).

Figure 9. Springtails.

results in a modest fitness cost, like wearing light-weight armor. Resistance to dicarboximides (FRAC Code 2) often comes at a significant fitness cost to the fungus, as if the armor it was carrying was very heavy.

Figure 10. Imagine fungicide resistance being like a coat of armor, protecting the spore from the chemical poison. (Image of "ring armor", retrieved 23 June 2013, from

Lets take the armor metaphor a little further. On the battlefield, having a coat of armor is beneficial. However, in daily life, having to wear a coat of armor would get tiresome very fast. Sometimes, this is how it is with fungicide resistance. The genetic resistance to fungicides helps protect the fungus for as long as the fungicide is being used. However, if the producer stops using the fungicideor switches to a fungicide in another FRAC group 1the genetic resistance to fungicides actually may be a burden, like an unnecessary coat of armor. Here are some real-world examples: When resistance develops to strobilurin fungicides (azoxystrobin, trifloxystrobin, pyraclostrobin, and other FRAC Code 11 fungicides), it commonly confers very little to no fitness cost. It is as if the armor were weightless. Resistance to the many triazoles and related fungicides (FRAC Code 3) often

Although you may have never heard of ecological fitness before, it really can work to a producers advantage, or disadvantage. Imagine that a fungicide-resistant spore occurs on your farm. Here is the range of possibilities: If you are lucky, that genetic resistance to fungicides may have a fitness cost, (=heavy armor). If so, that fungal strain may limp along and cause disease on your farm as long as you continue to use fungicides in that FRAC group. However, if you stop using those fungicides, the resistant strain will commonly begin to die out, and it may eventually return to very low levels on your farm. If there is a substantial fitness cost to fungicide resistance, you can commonly go back to using the fungicide, at least for awhile, until resistant strains build up again. If you are unlucky, the resistant strain will have absolutely no fitness cost, as if the coat of armor weighed nothing at all. What this usually means is, you are stuck with resistance indefinitely. Even if you stop using fungicides in that particular FRAC group, the resistant strain will persist for a long time. On a given farm, either of these two extremes may occur, as can outcomes intermediate between these extremes. So here are some practical questions that follow from this concept of ecological fitness: 1. When fungicide resistance occurs, how fit are the resistant strains? It is a key question, but it takes quite a bit of research to answer it for any given case of resistance. It is complicated by the fact that each new fungal strain, like people, is a unique individual, and we will only know how well-adapted a strain is by watching how it does in nature.

See the fourth article in this series for a description of FRAC groups.

However, one thing is for sure: the occurrence of resistance does not necessarily pose a threat to a farming operation, depending on how fit the resistant strain is. 2. How can we manipulate the ecological fitness of pesticideresistant microbes? Great question. But we cant. We have no influence on whether or not the fungal spores in a particular field carry a heavy coat of armor or a weightless one. We can only reduce the risk that the coat of armor will arise on its own (through mutation). You can only hope that, once it arises, the coat of armor is heavy. In ecological terms, we can only reduce the chance that a fit mutant will occur in our fields, but we cannot influence whether there is a fitness cost to that resistance. 3. How can we reduce the chance of a fit mutant occurring in our fields? The only way to reduce the risk of the fit mutant is by reducing disease activity on the farm. See the third article in this series for more on this topic, but basically, it means using resistance varieties and cultural practices to reduce disease pressure. The lower the disease pressure, the lower the chance that a fit mutant will spontaneously occur. Bottom line: Fungicide resistance is like a coat of armor, protecting the fungus from the fungicide. In some cases, the coat of armor is heavy, becoming a burden to the fungus in the absence of fungicide. This is referred to as a fitness cost to the fungicide resistance. If resistant strains in your field carry a fitness cost, sometimes it is possible to still use that fungicide selectively, because the resistant strain is may die out during periods when that fungicide is not applied. In contrast, if there is no fitness cost to resistance, resistant strains will likely stick around for a long time.

Note: Trade names are used to simplify the information presented in this newsletter. No endorsement by the Cooperative Extension Service is intended, nor is criticism implied of similar products that are not named.