"Corn earworm is difficult to scout, as it does not feed to any great extent on soybean leaves," Johnson said. "One has to get into the plants and look directly at the pods to find this pest."

Corn earworms are tan to pale green with several dark stripes down the back. But some vary in color and may look almost black. Adults are usually about 1 to 1.5 inches long.

Should corn earworm populations infest soybeans, producers and consultants are advised to check their fields at least once a week. The economic threshold for corn earworm in soybeans is two worms per row foot of beans in 30-inch rows. Since most Kentucky grown soybeans are in 15-inch rows, this number would need to be somewhat higher because of the increased plant population. Alternatively, one might use a 15-inch sweep net when rows are 15 inches or narrower. The research is not yet solid on this threshold, but a capture of three to four worms per 10 sweeps would warrant consideration of control.

Weekly trap counts and graphs of both insects are available on the UK IPM Web site at http://www.uky.edu/Ag/IPM/ipm.htm.