What is in this article?:
- The greatest threat to early maturing wheat is a late freeze.
- Lush green plants can be a haven for insect pests and plant diseases.
- Unless there is a rust race change, we should not see stripe rust infection in most varieties.
It is almost a month early for armyworms, but I have observed many moths in wheat fields over the past couple of days. These are likely the adults of the true armyworm, Pseudaletia unipuncta. They will be attracted to the lush green wheat fields, as they are the primary food source at this time of the year. The adults lay eggs in the wheat, and larval survival can be high, particularly if it remains warm and moist. The small larvae develop by feeding on the lower leaves, but as they mature and consume the leaves in the lower canopy they will gradually move up the plant and feed on the uppermost leaves. We need to protect the flag leaf throughout the grain filling period.
I would suggest keeping a watchful eye on this pest, and intensify scouting efforts beginning the end of next week. As this situation progresses, I will keep you informed.