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Lexington, KY 40546

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Number 1354
FORAGES Three Cornered Alfalfa Hopper GRAINS -New Kudzu Bug Find in Tennessee County Directly Bordering Kentucky -Reasons to Scout Corn for Stalk Strength -Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome Very Active In Kentucky FORAGES Three Cornered Alfalfa Hopper Lee Townsend, Extension Entomologist Three cornered alfalfa hoppers (Figure 1) have been abundant in some south central Kentucky alfalfa fields. They prefer legumes but will feed on other plants, too. These small green triangular sap feeders puncture stems and petioles. Older nymphs can girdle plants a few inches above the soil surface as they feed (Figure 2). A thickened callus, which usually develops at the feeding site, is a good indicator that this insect has been active. The girdling reduces water and nutrient movement and can cause stems to become brittle and break.

August 27, 2013


foot in conventional rows (30-40"rows) and three cornered alfalfa hopper nymphs are still present. It is rare that an insecticide application would be justified in alfalfa.

Figure 2. Girdling damage to soybean stem (Photo: David Adams, Univ. Georgia)

GRAINS New Kudzu Bug Find in Tennessee County Directly Bordering Kentucky Doug Johnson, Extension Entomologist The first capture of Kudzu bug in a Tennessee (TN) county directly boarding Kentucky (KY) has been reported. A TN Dept. AG plant inspector collected Kudzu bug from Claiborne Co. TN. This county borders Lee Co. VA. and Bell, and a small section of Whitley Co KY. The major roadway leading into KY is US 25E through Cumberland Gap and Middlesboro, KY. Fortunately, this was a very small collection of only three specimens, nearer to the upper reaches of Norris Lake than the

Figure 1. Three cornered alfalfa hopper adult (left; Photo: UC Davis Integrated Viticulture) and spiny nymph (right; Photo: C. Lewallen)

Treatment guideline for soybean: This insect rarely causes economic damage because soybean plants can compensate for damage. Control is recommended If 50% of the plants are girdled OR if fewer than 4-6 ungirdled plants remain per row-

KY-TN Line. Nonetheless, it illustrates the continual movement of this pest toward KY. At present this find changes little concerning how this pest will impact KY grain crops. Whitley and Bell counties contain few acres of soybeans such that US Ag. Statistics does not provide an estimate of the acreage in these counties. However, Kudzu is present and the Kudzu bug feeds on a wide variety of legumes (plants producing pods) that might be produced in home and commercial vegetable gardens. Lack of a host is unlikely to be a controlling factor. To obtain invasive stinkbug updates for KY grain crops follow: @DrDougStinkBugs on Twitter

widespread damage from this disease this year, especially if nights remain cool.

Reasons to Scout Corn for Stalk Strength Paul Vincelli, Extension Plant Pathologist Excellent yields are expected in many corn fields this growing season. Along with that good news come concerns over stalk strength. Plants in many fields have heavy ears, along with shallow roots because of abundant rainfall. Many of these plants could topple easily as they mature, especially if a late-season storm with high winds blows across the field. Plus, several extended periods of cloudy weather during grain fill may have increased the risk of stalk weakness in some fields. This is because, when the corn plant is filling grain, if leaves cannot provide the carbohydrate demand of the grain, the plant may cannibalize carbohydrates in stalks in order to fill the grain. Similarly, Infectious diseases may play a role in increasing stalk weakness, by depriving the plant of healthy foliage necessary to maintain stalk strength through maturity. Gray leaf spot (Figures 3 & 4) is prevalent this year, although levels generally appear to be low to moderate. I have also observed scattered fields with significant damage from northern leaf blight (Figure 5). Given the generally mild, wet weather this season, this isnt surprising. Although southern rust has been present in Kentucky for over a month, the generally cool weather experienced in recent weeks has helped suppress disease activity. This disease may still contribute to weakened stalks in some late-planted fields, but in general, it appears we have escaped

Figure 3. Lesions of gray leaf spot, viewed by holding up to the sky. Some hybrids develop an obvious yellow border around these infections.

Figure 4. Lesions of gray leaf spot in a highly susceptible variety. They are often described as "match-stick" lesions.

Figure 5. Lesions of northern leaf blight, with high levels of control by a strobilurin fungicide.

Scouting for stalk lodging Check for stalk weakness by walking the field and pushing plants about 1 feet from vertical. Those that fail to spring back exhibit lodging potential. If 10-15% or more of the field show lodging potential, it may be wise to schedule that field for early harvest, before it is laid down by strong winds.

Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome Very Active In Kentucky Don Hershman, Extension Plant Pathologist Soybean sudden death syndrome (SDS) caused by the soil-borne, root-rotting fungus, Fusarium virguliforme, is evident in soybean fields across the state. The disease is quite severe in certain fields in west Kentucky, where large areas of fields planted to susceptible and moderately susceptible varieties are affected. SDS has been seen in Kentucky each year since 1985, but incidence varies greatly, depending on the growing conditions. Generally cool temperatures and abundant soil moisture, both of which favor SDS, appear to have set us up for increased incidence and severity of SDS this season. The last time SDS was extensive in KY was in 2009. Fusarium virguliforme infects roots early in the season and foliar symptoms normally appear during the soybean reproductive stages, as is the case in fields this year. In a more typical year (i.e., hot and dry during July/Aug), a greater extent of SDS is often associated with very early planting; doublecrop beans are rarely affected. However, in a year like this one, planting date associations are blurred and we may find that the disease even ends up developing in doublecrop soybeans as well as full-season beans. SDS is first evident in foliage as yellow blotches between the veins of leaves in the mid and upper canopy. In most cases, blotches coalesce and result in a yellow and brown discoloration between the veins, but the veins remain green (Figure 6).

Figure 6. Range of SDS foliar symptoms.

In severe cases, symptomatic leaflets will crinkle and eventually fall off (Figure 7), but the petioles will remain attached to the plant. If severe symptoms develop during early- to mid-pod fill, pods may abort and/or fail to fill properly. Up to 85% yield loss is possible in severely diseased areas of fields. If symptoms come in when pods are filled or nearly filled, limited yield loss will occur even when severe foliar symptoms are evident. With SDS, the timing of symptom expression relative to crop stage is the main consideration when assessing probable yield damage caused by the disease.

Figure 7. Defoliation caused by SDS.

SDS can be evident in individual plants, groups of plants or in large areas of various shapes. Many times, symptoms will be most evident in compacted and/or low areas of fields due to the tendency towards increased moisture retention in those areas. Increased incidence and severity of SDS is often associated with stress/damage caused by the soybean cyst nematode. Foliar symptoms are the result of a toxin produced by the fungus in diseased root tissue.

The foliar symptoms described above can look similar to stem canker, Dectes stem borer injury, and even phytotoxicity symptoms caused by certain triazole fungicides. Thus, foliar symptoms in and of themselves are not diagnostic for SDS. Additional SDS symptoms include severely rotted roots and a light brown discoloration of the stem when sliced open with a knife (healthy stems will appear a cream color). When all three symptoms are evident, you can be quite confident that you have made an accurate field diagnosis of SDS. This disease is poorly named, in that SDS does not usually suddenly appear, nor is the end result always death. In fact, SDS foliar symptoms first appear much like other diseases, a little at a time. It is only "sudden" if you have not been looking. I have seen plants with SDS recover (put out leaves without characteristic foliar symptoms) and in many cases the disease comes in too late to significantly reduce yields. That said, I am quite sure that SDS will significantly impact yields in many fields this year. The best way to limit the development of SDS is to plant a resistant variety and to avoid very early planting dates. However, there is nothing that can be done to slow or stop SDS once it is evident in a field. Applying a fungicide WILL NOT HELP.

Figure 8. Fall webworm tent at end of branch

long when full-grown. They can be numerous enough to completely defoliate small trees and shrubs but this is not common. Usually, little real damage is done to trees but the ugly webs and brown are unsightly. Accessible nests can be pruned out and discarded, if practical. Insecticides containing Bt, spinosad, Sevin, or pyrethroids can be used if chemical control is necessary and the sprayer can reach foliage around the nest. There are two generations in Kentucky each yearfrom mid-June to early July and again in August.

LAWN &TURF Blue-winged Wasps Lee Townsend, Extension Entomologist Blue-winged wasps can be found cruising over turf or visiting flowers for nectar and pollen (Figure 9). They have Figure 9. Blue-winged wasp an ominous appearance but are focused on finding white grubs in the soil to serve as food for their larvae. Females burrow into the soil, then sting and lay an egg on developing white grubs, especially green June beetles. The hairy distinctly marked wasps have blue/black wings, the tip of the abdomen is orange/red, and there often are two yellow marks. Blue-winged wasps are not aggressive and have no nest to defend so there is no need for any attempt to control them.

SHADE TREES & ORNAMENTALS Fall Webworm Lee Townsend, Extension Entomologist Fall webworm caterpillars build light gray silk tents that contain the ends of branches of trees and shrubs (Figure 8). These large conspicuous webs contain caterpillars, covered with long white to yellow-tan hairs and two rows of black marks along their bodies, dead or partially eaten leaves, and lots of small black droppings. The insect can feed on over 90 species of deciduous trees; hickory, walnut, birch, black cherry, and crabapple and mulberry are favorites. Fall webworm larvae incorporate the leaves they are eating into their tent which is enlarged to include more foliage as the caterpillars grow. They feed for about 4 weeks and are just over an inch

DIAGNOSTIC LAB HIGHLIGHTS Julie Beale and Brenda Kennedy, Plant Disease Diagnosticians


August 16 to August 23
Location Princeton, KY 3 0 1 27 12 0 Lexington, KY 0 53 3 2 0 0

Agronomic samples diagnosed in the Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab in the past week have included Lepto leaf spot on alfalfa; gray leaf spot on corn; southern blight, sudden death syndrome, and downy mildew on soybean; blue mold (in southern Ohio), angular leaf spot, and bacterial hollow stalk on tobacco. On fruit and vegetable samples, we have diagnosed black rot, anthracnose, and Pseudocercospora leaf spot on grape; anthracnose cane & leaf rust, and raspberry ringspot virus on blackberry; anthracnose on strawberry; brown rot on peach; frogeye leaf spot on apple; thread blight on pear; Cercospora leaf spot on bean; northern corn leaf blight and common smut on sweet corn; downy mildew, powdery mildew, and Cercospora leaf spot on cucumber; downy mildew, powdery mildew, root knot nematode, potyvirus complex, and Plectosporium blight on pumpkin; late blight, early blight, Septoria leaf spot, and Fusarium wilt on tomato. On ornamentals and turf, we have seen Pythium root rot petunia; Fusarium wilt on chrysanthemum; powdery mildew and leaf blotch on peony; black spot on rose; Phomopsis twig blight on juniper; Cercsospora leaf spot on ash; Volutella canker on boxwood; powdery mildew on dogwood; elm yellows on elm; Cryptocline leaf spot on birch; Cristulariella leaf spot on crape myrtle; Pythium root dysfunction on bentgrass; summer patch on bluegrass; and gray leaf spot on perennial ryegrass.

Black cutworm Armyworm European corn borer Corn earworm Southwestern corn borer Fall armyworm

Graphs of insect trap counts for the 2013 season are available on the IPM Web site at

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.