Corn Earworm Flight Is Beginning – Scout Soybeans

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Light trap catches for corn earworm are up this week in Craven, Duplin, Scotland and Stanley county. This is an indication that a flight is on in the southern part of our state and that soybeans at bloom should be scouted for corn earworm. Use the online corn earworm in soybean threshold calculator, and visit the corn earworm soybean pest page for information on this pest in soybeans.

Our 21 pheromone trap network has been running for a week in Northampton, Halifax, Nash, Edgecombe, and Wilson counties. Counts were highest in Wilson and southern Edgecombe. The catch was lighter moving toward Northampton county.

A cylinder on top of a cone is hung on the edge of a field planted with soybean.

Corn earworm pheromone trap catch 7/11-7/18/22 near Stantonsburg, NC.

We noted that corn earworm numbers have been extremely high in corn this year. While this is not a guarantee that they will be high in soybeans (see this article), we should definitely be scouting. Note that previous research does not support treating corn earworm in flowering soybeans. Therefore it’s important to hold off until pods are present to make a treatment decision. Spraying insecticides at flowering can kill beneficial insects.