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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.
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May 12, 2020