Welcome to the weekly Vegetable Pest Message
from the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System

Week of September 2nd Vegetable Pest Message

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Welcome to the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System’s Vegetable Pest Message.  This message is being recorded on Friday afternoon September 2nd by Jude Boucher.

This week’s message will cover:
• Corn earworm
• Downy mildew
• Flooded produce unfit for human consumption
• Reporting storm damage

Corn earworms
Usually after a hurricane or tropical storm we end up with over 100 CEW moths per night in pheromone traps.  However, in some locations the moth captures actually were lower after the storm this time.  Pheromone traps in E. Lyme, Storrs, Suffield, and Berlin all captured between 3.3 and 7 earworm moths per night this past week and those farms were on a 4 day spray schedule on fresh silking corn.  Farms in New Milford and Northford captured between 17 and 33 moths per night and were on a three day spray schedule. 

Here are the CEW thresholds: 
                                                            Moths/night                              spray interval
                                                            0.2-0.5                                    6 day schedule
                                                            0.5-1                                       5 day schedule
                                                            1-13                                        4 day schedule
                                                            >13                                         3 day schedule

Downy mildew
Downy mildew is severe on unprotected pumpkin and winter squash plantings in the western portions of the state with many plants down or almost down.  From the description I received from one farmer in the eastern portion of the state it sounds like everyone’s pumpkin fields are infected. This disease is capable of defoliating a field in as little as 3 to 7 days and it is right on track in some fields that were checked 3 and 4 days after the storm.  Unprotected cucumbers on those same farms are already down. Apply one of the following products today, Ranman, Previcur Flex, Revus, Presidio, Tanos or Curzate with a protectant.  For pumpkins and winter squash, you need to keep at least some of the foliage up as long as the crop is trying to size the fruit so you may or may not need to make a second application of one of a second DM product in 7 to 10 days.  I have heard that both Ranman and Tanos are working well on the strain of DM we have in CT this year.  All cucurbit crops should be protected at this time.  

Flooded produce unfit for human consumption
Just because the flood waters have started to recede, doesn’t mean that the crops are safe to eat.  Flood waters are likely to contain contaminants from septic systems, lawns, roads, municipal sewage systems and even industrial chemicals.  You should discard or destroy all crops that have been submerged in flood water.  They are no longer suitable or safe for human consumption.  This does not include pools that form in fields due to heavy rain, but is meant to cover flooding from all other surface sources such as overflow from ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers. 


Reporting storm damage
Be sure to document your storm related damage by taking pictures and by reporting your losses to the CT Department of Agriculture at 860 713-2503 and the USDA FSA and NRCS.  The Department of Ag is trying to gather estimates of your total losses to help the governor apply for disaster relief from Washington.  The bigger the number that he reports to D.C., then the better the chances that they may send some form of monetary relief.  Think about it this way, if they start passing out checks for storm damage, it will be a lot better to be in that line than not to be.

That’s all for this week.  This message will next be updated on Friday afternoon September 9th

Jude Boucher

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