Pests are a Big Concern for Farmers

Headland, AL - It’s the peak growing season for crops in the Wiregrass. As it starts to heat up the plants will shoot up, but that means pests are becoming a problem.

We can mostly blame a warm winter.

“We’re having a lot of grasshopper problems, which is something we normally don’t have. We’ve already had to treat some cotton for that. So yes, it looks like we’re going to have a bad insect year,” said farmer Tracey Taylor.

It’s not just grasshoppers. Stink bugs are big concern for cotton as well. Wednesday, they took a break from their own fields, and gathered at the Wiregrass Research and Extension Center to learn how to spot bugs, weeds, and diseases.

“To be able to make an impact then we need to at least put forth some training for the growers so they might be able to identify some of the pests they might incur in the coming weeks,” said extension agronomist William Birdsong.

Most farms in the Wiregrass received anywhere from two to nine inches of rain this past weekend. While this is great for the growth of crops, this could be bad news for the growth of pests.

Birdsong said, “Anytime a plant is growing very well it can be more attractive to pests. Therefore, it could enhance some insect populations and it may reduce some other populations.”

“Anytime you get a rain, unless you are in harvest time, is a good time. We’ve still got a long ways to go. It’s going to take a lot more rain to finish this crop out,” said Taylor.

An inch of rain per week would be nearly perfect.

If you have questions about pests you can call the center at 334-693-2010.

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