Twig Girdlers: A Case of Nonselective Pruning

Every fall I receive calls and emails concerning small severed twigs under pecan trees and this year has been no different. In fact, one producer said this has been the worst year ever. As an economic pest and impact on production, the twig girdler is pretty much a nuisance. However, it can be a different...

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Shuck Tunneling Larvae to Watch for in Pecans

Starting around mid-September and continuing through October, I routinely receive samples and email pictures of pecans from producers and homeowners that want to know “What is feeding in the pecan shucks?” In fact, I received two samples in one week from a homeowner with that very same question. There are two moth larvae that I...

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Steps to Prevent Post-Harvest Insect Losses

Unfortunately, I think all of us, including myself, have had some experience with stored product insects. I mean who hasn’t found a moth or some beetles in their kitchen pantry. These cosmopolitan pests feed on a wide range of food materials and can be found anywhere along the food supply chain from production areas and...

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Stink Bug Management: A Challenge for All Producers

First, I would like to refer to an excellent article by Monte Nesbitt from the August 2010 issue of Pecan South titled “Victory or Defeat in August,” where he talks about the difficulty in producing pecans during August. This difficulty not only applies to the horticultural challenges of filling out kernels but this is also...

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Fall webworms have created a web around the foliage of this tree. They wiggle around inside, eating as much as they can.

Fall Webworm—Not a Big Threat, Just a Big Pest

One of the most visible and obvious insect infestations on pecan has to be the fall webworm, where those unsightly webs seem to just appear overnight. The fall webworm is native to North America where it feeds on a wide range of deciduous trees and shrubs with feeding preferences varying on geographic regions. In North...

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Dormant Season: A Good Time to Monitor for Obscure Scale

We are fortunate that in this day and age of pecan production producers have numerous tools available to help anticipate and control economic damaging populations of insects. There are pheromone traps, adult emergence traps, economic thresholds, online prediction models and a wide assortment of insecticides. However, there are some insects where detection will have to...

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Stored Product Insect Pheromones and Traps Warn of Potential Post-Harvest Problems

As we enter the harvest season, it’s that time of year for me to remind everyone about stored product insects and suggest post-harvest insect monitoring tools. As producers, processors, wholesalers and retailers strive to produce and present a high-quality product, stored product insect detection and management becomes essential. Post-harvest pecans can experience infestations at any level...

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Pecan Weevil: a Producer, State and Industry issue

During my time as the pecan IPM specialist for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, I have written several articles for Pecan South on pecan weevil management, but for this month instead of a management focus, I would like to address the potential spread of pecan weevil to new areas. I am probably addressing the wrong audience...

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Don’t Forget About Pecan Leaf Scorch Mite!

During the recent Texas Pecan Growers Conference there was an excellent panel discussion on “Varietal, Physiological and Climate Effects on Pecan Quality” with panel members being state pecan horticulturists from Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas and the Noble Foundation out of Ardmore, OK. During the discussion, one of the important points that was mentioned several...

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Ambrosia Beetle Not Common, but Merits Attention

Not long after I started my career as the pecan IPM agent with Texas Agricultural Extension Service (as we were called back then), I had a producer from East Texas complain about some insect that was attacking and killing his young pecan trees. At that time I was more concerned about pecan nut casebearer and...

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Pecan Ipm Program Tackles New Projects

The dogwoods and redbuds are in full bloom and trees are breaking bud so a new season is upon us—ready or not. There will be a lot going on this year with the Texas pecan IPM program so for this month’s column I would like to list a few things that the pecan IPM group...

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Now is the Time to Prepare for Pecan Nut Casebearer

Red buds in bloom, bluebonnets are out and mesquite trees in leaf so spring has arrived early for many of us and all of this earliness has already led to some questions on pecan nut casebearer (PNC) management. As with many insects, PNC develops according to temperature and not a calendar schedule so knowing when...

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Phylloxera Management Requires Timing

Although it is early February, the recent warm days are a reminder that the beginning of a new year is just around the corner; it’s time to start preparing for another season. One group of early season insects that needs to be discussed at this time are the phylloxera. During May and June, county Extension...

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Pecan Insect Resource Coming to IPM Pipe

Over the past five or six years, those of you that have heard me talk have heard me reference the number of different insects that feed on pecan. Years ago, just out of curiosity, I started to compile a list of insects that feed on pecan and currently my list includes 15 nut feeders, 101...

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Update on Invasive Ant and Stink Bug Pests

Throughout my career, I have felt that in addition to assisting producers with annual pest problems, I also need to keep my eyes on the horizon for other potential pests that may possibly impact the industry. Two potential pests that are being monitored are the invasive tawny crazy ant and the brown marmorated stink bug....

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New Pecan Weevil Detection in Texas Raises Concerns

During October of this year, a new Texas county record for pecan weevil was made in Comal County near the Guadalupe River south of Canyon Lake. This new detection raises some serious concerns because the Guadalupe River and the counties within its watershed area are prime pecan production regions. With this new detection, this is...

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Zika Virus and What Texas Need to Know

This month’s column is a bit different in that it does not deal with typical production or post-harvest pest problems but rather presents information on a real potential threat to producers. The following information has been taken from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension publication, ENTO-052, “What Texans Need to Know about Zika Virus,” written by...

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Black pecan aphids – a late season concern

One of the more challenging questions I encounter is “how late in the season can you justify controlling foliage pests?” Honestly, I don’t have a good answer for there are a lot of variables that need to be considered for this question. Considerations such as the pest problem, average date of first frost, variety, amount...

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Effective Pecan Weevil Management is Multi-Step Process

During the first week of August, I received two calls concerning the collection of adult pecan weevils — one from Kimble County in southwest Texas and one from northeast Texas along the Red River. These collections really did not surprise me and actually reinforces the data that pecan weevils can begin emergence during early August....

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Scorch Mite a Summer Pest That Cannot be Overlooked

As the growing season enters the hot dry months of mid and late summer, pecans can be subject to infestations from several potential serious foliage pests that may need to be controlled. Insects such as black pecan aphid, yellow pecan aphid, walnut caterpillar and scorch mite can all cause premature foliage loss, which can/will impact...

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Don’t delay in finding source of foliage damage

At the time of this writing, producers in Texas are past first-generation pecan nut casebearer, are experiencing June drop and I think have a better feel for their potential crop. When it comes to protecting a crop from insect pests, most of us think of pecan nut casebearer, pecan weevil, stink bugs and hickory shuckworm...

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Growers Asking ‘What Are These Insects?’

Over the past week or so I have had several questions concerning some insects that seem to line up and down the new growth of pecans and then run around the other side of the stem when disturbed. And along with producers’ curiosity of this critter is the question, “Do I need to treat for...

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Early Detection is Key to Prevent Economic Loss

During the growing season there are several major nut-feeding insects such as pecan nut casebearer and pecan weevil, whose occurrence in an orchard can be anticipated and, if needed, treatments are applied based on trap collections and stage on kernel development. These two pests are generally considered the two most important nut-feeding insects of pecan...

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Pecan Insecticide Recommendation Resources for Producers

For last month’s column I presented information on the cancellation of sulfoxaflor (Closer) use on pecan and since that writing I have received several requests for recommendations for insect control. So, for this month, I would like to highlight some insecticide resources that are available for producers. Insecticide recommendations for pecans can generally be obtained...

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What is potential impact on pecan of invasive pests?

As the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Program Specialist for pecan IPM, it has been my job to work with producers on their various pest management problems; however, in addition to dealing with some of the more common pest problems, I also try and keep my eyes on the horizon for potential or invasive pests that...

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Stored-Product Insect Pheromones, Traps Provide Warnings

Well, it is that time of year and time for me to re-run this article as a reminder about post-harvest insect monitoring tools. With harvest underway and pecans being cracked, shelled, processed and stored, I feel that this is a good time to address stored-product pests. As producers, processers, wholesalers and retailers strive to produce...

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Monitoring for Invasive Pests

In working with the Texas pecan IPM program for many years, I direct most of my time to assist producers with managing the usual production pests such as pecan nut casebearer, pecan weevil, aphids and stink bugs. However, I have always felt that it is just as important to keep watch on the horizon for...

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Bee Attacks: They can happen; be prepared

This month’s column is a bit different than what I normally write in that it is not about managing some pest or new products but rather about having a plan to protect one’s self from a bee attack while working in your orchard or around your home. My intent for this article is to get...

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Growers Need to Be Familiar With Pesticide “Group Numbers”

I think that one of the most useful pieces of information, at least for resistance management, that has been placed on pesticide labels is the mode of action classification or “Group Number”. For insecticides this group number classification was developed by the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee or IRAC, http://irac-online.org which is made up of an...

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County Pecan Shows and Pest Impact Evaluations

One long-standing pecan tradition in Texas is the county pecan show and starting around November there are numerous county pecan shows across the state. This program I believe started in the early 1950s with the concept or intention to teach growers how to grade their pecans. In addition to the education on grading, these shows...

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Grasshoppers frustrate many Texas pecan producers

The hot, dry, dog days of summer are upon us here in Texas and grasshopper and June beetle calls have been common. Over the past month, I have received several calls on grasshoppers and June beetles defoliating trees and I’m sure more calls are on the way. These hot dry conditions we are experiencing favor...

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Percent weevil damage related to native nut density

Previously, I reported that pecan weevil, Curculio caryae (Horn) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), growth rates were correlated with a density dependent factor, pecan nuts per adult female weevil (Mount 2013). This relationship suggested that nuts per female weevil would also be related to larval infestations in nuts. Thus, I used nut density data from the previous report,...

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Texas Crop Registry

This month’s column on the Texas Crop Registry is a little different from my normal topics in that it does not address a specific insect or pest problem, but rather informs producers of a tool that I think is a win-win opportunity for both producers and pesticide applicators. Simply put, the purpose of the Texas...

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New insecticides available for producers in 2014

I think that every day something happens that reminds me or just reinforces the fact that this is a fast-paced world and it is difficult, if not almost impossible, to catch up or even stay abreast with change. One of these realization events occurred for me earlier this month as I made my annual search...

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Time to prepare 2013 pecan weevil management plans

It is hard to believe that it is mid-August and time to start getting ready for pecan weevils. I feel that with the drought conditions across the state this looks to be a year, again, when producers will really need to pay attention to the potential for drought-delayed adult emergence. I have published this article...

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Defoliating caterpillars are active in Texas

Unfortunately it looks like the Texas pecan crop will be light this year and during this type of season it is hard for producers to invest any more money than they have too. However, tree health has to be maintained and in some cases this means having to treat for any pest or disease that...

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Producers have plenty of insecticide choices

During all of my years with Extension, one of the more frequent questions I receive from producers, regardless of the pest problem is: “what can I spray with?” It wasn’t long ago that the list of insecticides labeled for pecan was not all that long. I remember when we could list all the labeled commercial...

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Time to prepare for Pecan Nut Casebearer management

It is hard to believe that the 2013 season is just around the corner and it will soon be time to start placing your PNC pheromone trap orders. Over the years there have been numerous articles on pecan nut casebearer management and the importance of using pheromone traps to detect the onset of the first-generation...

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An example of a label for an insecticide with the group number circled in red.

Pesticide Group Numbers – what are they?

For the past month or so I have been reviewing insecticide labels and new products in order to update the insecticide searchable database in the Pecan ipmPipe website. In addition to providing information on grazing restrictions, pre-harvest intervals and labeled pests, the “Group Number” for the product is also listed under class/mode of action column....

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Dormant season a good time to monitor for obscure scale

We are fortunate that in this day and age of pecan production, producers have numerous tools available to help anticipate and control economic damaging populations of insects. There are pheromone traps, adult emergence traps, economic thresholds, online prediction models and a wide assortment of insecticides. However, there are some insects where detection will have to...

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Texans urged to lookout for unwelcomed visitor

For this month’s article I am submitting a news release that was prepared by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s Steve Byrns and distributed to news outlets urging people to be on the lookout for the new invasive brown marmorated stink bug.  Although I wrote on this subject for the June 2011 issue of Pecan South, given...

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‘Hog cam’ could give upper hand on feral hogs

Harvest season is well underway across Texas and, for all practical purposes, problems from production insect pests are behind us. However, until the pecans are in the sack and in the barn producers still have to deal with wildlife depredation and one of these wildlife predators, feral hogs, seems to be in the news on...

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Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Detected in Texas

Although I wrote on this subject for the July 2011 issue of Pecan South, I felt the need to rerun this information given that the brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, was just recently detected in Texas (Corpus Christi). This first Texas detection was reported by a pest control operator in early November where the specimens were...

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Texas IPM Team in Year One of Imidacloprid Study

During the 2009 TPGA conference the Pecan IPM Steering Committee discussed and prioritized important IPM related issues and needs for the industry during the next 3-5 years. Insecticide resistance in yellow pecan aphids, which includes the blackmargined pecan aphid, Monellia caryella and yellow pecan aphid, Monelliopsis pecanis was recognized as a high priority need. During the spring of 2010,...

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2011 Full Of Entomological Challenges

With the above average temperatures, extreme drought and light crop, to say that 2011 has been a difficult year would be a gross understatement. In addition to these environmental problems, we have also seen several entomological challenges and changes —such as pecan nut casebearer being very early this spring, an almost complete absence of fall...

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Time to Make Pecan Weevil Management Plans

It is hard to believe that it is mid-July and time to start getting ready for pecan weevils. I feel that, with the drought conditions across the state, this looks to be a year when producers will really need to pay attention to the potential for drought-delayed adult emergence. I have published this article several...

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Be on the Alert for New Invasive Stink Bug

Today’s society is based on a world economy with goods and commodities being shipped to and from countries around the world — which is a good thing and we (pecan growers) are seeing that now with increased sales to China. World trade is great, but all of this commerce can have negative consequences, one of...

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That “Next” Generation of Pecan Nut Casebearer

So far I would say that the 2011 season has gotten off to a difficult and rough start with the drought, high diesel and gas prices, a lighter than expected crop (from what I have seen so far) and pecan nut casebearer showing up a bit early. Given the higher than average temperatures during March...

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EPA – PESP sponsored project to start in 2011

Although I wrote about this project at the end of last year, I thought it is worth rerunning to serve as a reminder that this project will need input from producers. During 2010 the Texas pecan IPM program teamed with Dr. Juan Lopez, USDA-ARS Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center, to submit a proposal to the...

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Natural Enemies (Beneficials) Help with IPM Efforts

In last month’s article I highlighted some of the natural enemy predators associated with pest insects, and for this month’s article, I will touch on the arthropod parasites. As mentioned in last month’s column, the role of and importance of natural enemies (beneficials) in a pest management (IPM) system can’t be overlooked or underestimated. For...

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Natural Enemies Important Component of IPM

During this off-season, I want to discuss in a two-part series, beneficial insects or natural enemies associated with pecan and for this month I will highlight the predators with next month’s column devoted to the parasites. By definition, we will define “predator” as an organism that requires more than one prey to complete development. Ever...

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Imidacloprid Project Set To Launch In 2011

During 2010 the Texas pecan IPM program teamed with Juan Lopez, USDA-ARS Southern Plains Research Station, to submit a proposal to the EPA Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program for funds to develop information relating to use patterns of imidacloprid-based insecticides to tolerance/resistance in black-margined pecan aphids, Monellia caryella. Lopez is a research entomologist with USDA- ARS and although his...

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Stink Bug Management Presents Challenges For Producers

I would like to refer back to an excellent article by Monte Nesbitt in last month’s Pecan South, Southeastern Shakings, Page 6, where he talks about the difficulty in producing pecans during August. This not only applies to the horticultural challenges in filling out kernels but this is also a time when producers have to start...

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Get Preparations Underway For 2010 Weevil Management

During 2009 many Texas pecan producers experienced greater than expected damage from pecan weevils and, although it is only late July, I feel it is time to address pecan weevil management so producers will have time to establish management plans. I have published this article several times in the past but because of the importance...

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Walnut Caterpillar Makes Another Appearance In Texas

Every year there are isolated reports of walnut caterpillar activity, and so far for 2010, I have only received reports from 2 Texas counties — Victoria and DeWitt. And so far the only infestations have been in residential areas and not across commercial orchards. Although there are these isolated or localized areas of walnut caterpillar...

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Early Season Foliage Pests Sometimes Pose Problem

From my list of insects that feed on pecan, I have recorded over 100 that feed on the foliage, most of which are considered secondary or nuisance pests. From the emails, phone calls and orchard site visits I make, I have determined that 4 of the most common early-season foliage pest problems are phylloxera, sawfly,...

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Pecan Nut Casebearer Management Tools

It is hard to believe that it is almost that time of year when producers across Texas and other states will need to start focusing their attention on their pecan nut casebearer management program. In fact, at the time of this writing, the first PNC adults have already been collected in pheromone traps in South...

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Horticultural Oils For Pest Control: Use With Care

This is a topic I have written about several times in the past for this column, but every year I receive questions concerning the use of dormant oils on pecan so I will rerun again. Horticultural oils have been used in agriculture for over 100 years to control various soft bodied insects such as scale,...

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