Tip feeding by alfalfa weevil larvae should be very obvious now. A short residual insecticide can be used if there is significant weevil activity and a week or more until harvest.
Small parasitoid wasps play an important role in regulating alfalfa weevil populations so insecticides should be used only as necessary to control large weevil populations.
Check the product label for rates and harvest intervals and match times with anticipated cutting.
Pythium Root Rot
The unseasonably warm temperatures prevalent over the past weeks have pushed things in the plant world, including disease. Pythium root rot has been confirmed on some fairly young tobacco seedlings.
Pythium root rot is common in tobacco float beds, but usually isn’t seen much until mid-April; however warm weather has created favorable conditions ahead of schedule.
Spring Strawberry Pests
There are several common spring pests of strawberries that can attack the plants (spittlebugs) or attack and damage the fruit (plant bugs, slugs and sap beetles).
Growers should be scouting for plant bugs and spittlebugs and using recommended insecticide treatment decisions.
Fire blight can be a devastating bacterial disease of apple, crabapple, pear and flowering pear, but disease epidemics are often sporadic.
Our current conditions are an indication that fire blight may be severe this spring. Initial fire blight infections occur through flowers. We call this symptom “blossom blight.”
Petal browning is the first sign of petal blight, but many growers do not notice it. Browning of pedicels (stems that attach flowers to stems) follows. Often, droplets of bacterial ooze can be seen coming from pedicels. Bacteria travel down the spur into the twig.
Cankers that form around the spur-attachment site girdle branches, and then branch parts above the canker also die.
Several species of ground-nesting bees or digger bees thrive in Kentucky and are important pollinators in late spring and early summer.
Digger bees are solitary; each lives alone and constructs its own gallery, a tunnel and chamber in which it raises its larvae on pollen from flowers.
The pencil diameter-sized openings, which may be shared by several bees, are surrounded by loose soil excavated when the tunnel is dug.
Large colonies can develop over time with many openings in sunny areas with well-drained soil. They may sting if handled or stepped on but do not aggressively defend their nests.