Pecan Insects In Orchards Now
Pecan Nut Casebearer pressure was very light this year from South to Central Texas. Overall I had very few moths in traps and have yet to see eggs or damage to nutlets. Many growers treated "just in case" but even looking at trees in yards that were not treated I don't find damage. That said I am putting out new lures in traps to see if 2nd generation becomes a problem.
Bill Ree texted me on Monday of this week to remind me that Walnut Caterpillar is out and could be causing damage. If you used Intrepid for PNC, chances are walnut caterpillar is not a problem - yet. But many growers opted to skip first generation PNC sprays because of low to no eggs or damage. This may provide a chance for walnut caterpillar to get started.
This may not be related at all, but we are seeing a higher number of caterpillar species in general, on all crops this year.
I had to ask Bill about this problem causing ugly pecan leaves. It is thrips! I knew thrips were a problem this year on green beans, peanuts, black-eyed peas, crape myrtle, etc but I sure didn't think about pecan leaves. Bill says they are in the leaves feeding before they unfurl which is where we see them on just about every other crop out there. Sorry, not much you could have done.
Bill Ree came to the rescue again with this insect - Blotch Leafminer. This is not really an issue but it certainly is a curiosity. I have found this insect in orchards this year that used chlorpyrifos (known generally as Lorsban) for insect control. Many growers still use it for PNC because of cost or to control other insect problems with PNC. Chlorpyrifos can also significantly reduce beneficial insect populations and give rise to obscure insect pests like Blotch Leafminer. Nothing to get concerned about, just add it to the list of things that drive pecan growers crazy.....