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Corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea, is the most common and destructive insect pest of soybeans grown in Virginia. Although infestation severity varies, about one-third of our acreage is treated annually. This costs farmers 1.5 to 2 million dollars annually, and requires the application of many pounds of insecticide to crop lands. We may never eliminate this pest from Virginia soybeans, but knowledge of the biology and use of best management practices can help limit insecticide controls to those fields that meet economic threshold criteria. This publication provides current information on corn earworm biology, prediction of outbreaks, pest advisories, scouting procedures, and recently revised economic thresholds.
Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Interim Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
November 13, 2014