Summer weather patterns assist insect migration into crops

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By Steve Moore

UK entomologists have observed that despite last years’ mild winter, insect pest populations have been mostly below average in Kentucky.  However, summer weather patterns have made it favorable for insects to begin migration, including corn earworm, fall armyworm and yellow-striped armyworm populations in various crops. While we haven’t seen invasions of these insects in Henry County yet, they have in Western Kentucky, so we need to be vigilant.  

While the corn earworm can be a pest of field corn and soybeans, this insect is also a serious pest of sweet corn and tomatoes. The corn earworm has other names including soybean podworm, tomato fruitworm, and the cotton bollworm.  The fall armyworm is an infrequent invader in Kentucky but can be a problem in late-planted field corn.  Even though there was below-normal rainfall this summer, recent rains have initiated a flush of grass growth around ditches and waterways. The fall armyworm strips these areas and moves into nearby crop fields, particularly soybeans and other grain crops.

A third pest making a late-season surge is the yellow-striped armyworm. This is a pest of many vegetables, including tomatoes, peppers, fall cole crops and tobacco. This caterpillar is both a leaf and fruit feeder. The mature caterpillar is easy to recognize as it is almost black in color with two thin yellow stripes running the length of its body.

With these late season pests, growers should monitor their fields regularly and only use recommended insecticides as necessary.

Beef Field Day

The Cattleman’s Associations and the Extension Services from Henry, Oldham, Shelby and Trimble Counties invite all interested Cattle Producers to their annual Regional Beef Field Day.  The field day will be at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1, at TNT Farms, 5831 South Ky. 53, just south of Ballardsville.

The program will include UK Extension Specialists Dr. Kenny Burdine, Dr. Darrh Bullock, Dr. Ray Smith, and Dr. Les Anderson, along with NRCS DC Kurt Mason.  Topics for the field day stops will include marketing situation and outlook, benefits of crossbreeding, pasture reseeding and drought issues, managed breeding season, fall calving, and conservation practices. 

Please RSVP by contacting the Henry County Extension Office at 845-2811 by Sept. 28. 

Third Thursday Thing

The September Third Thursday Thing will be held tomorrow, Sept. 20, at the KSU Mills Lane Farm just south of Frankfort.  Beginning at 10 a.m., the day will feature Sweet Sorghum production and processing along with Home Based Processing and MicroProcessing of other foods.   As those who have ventured into direct marketing such as farmers markets can attest, the regulations concerning processing of foods are somewhat complex.  This Third Thursday Thing should help in understanding the system.  A sponsored meal will be served at noon.

Cattleman’s meeting

The Henry County Cattleman’s Association will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24, at the Henry County Extension Office.   In addition to the sponsored beef supper, the program will feature brief reports from FSA, Conservation, Veterinarian, FFA/Youth, Extension (Master Stocker Program Update) and Phase I, along with an educational program. 

Please contact the Extension Office at 845-2811 to let us know your intentions to attend.

Master Stocker Program

The Kentucky Master Stocker Program will begin in October, with a program style much like the Master Cattleman series.  We’ll be offering the program with Shelby, Oldham and Trimble Counties, with sessions rotated between the County Extension Offices in all 4 counties.  Sessions will begin at 6 p.m., with a meal, beginning Thursday, Oct. 25, and running nearly every Thursday evening until Dec. 20.   Eight topics will include budgeting/cost of production, animal handling, economic risk management, nutrition management, forage management, health management, environmental compliance, and marketing, and will feature top UK College of Agriculture Specialists. 

To insure your place in the class, contact the Henry County Extension Office at 845-2811 for program details and to register.  


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