facebook_pixel

Thorough Scouting is Crucial for Early Season Insects

By Jim Steadman

 

While many growers may be finalizing their cotton plans and getting planters ready for the field, it’s also a good time to start thinking about managing early season insect pests, especially thrips.

“In normal years, we usually have to overtreat 20-to-30 percent of our cotton acres on top of the seed treatments for thrips,” stated Angus Catchot, Extension entomologist with Mississippi State University. “But for the last two years, for a variety of reasons – maybe cooler weather, maybe residual herbicides holding the cotton plant growth back a bit – we’ve had to make multiple applications on up to 70 to 80 percent of the acres. That’s a trend that may be with us for a while.

“We need to be especially careful when we have to do that,” he added, “because we can flare early season spider mites if we’re not careful and choose the wrong chemistry.”

Southern growers have to deal with two different species of thrips – the more common tobacco thrips and the tougher-to-control western flower thrips. Tobacco thrips are easily controlled with organophosphate chemistries like Orthene, Bidrin or dimethoate. However, early season use of Orthene is likely to flare spider mites. A newer product, Radiant, won’t flare spider mites and is the only product showing decent activity on western flower thrips, but at a higher cost than other products.

The key is thorough, early season scouting.

“We need to know what species we’re dealing with so we know what chemistries to use,” explained Catchot. “We don’t want to treat unless we absolutely have to. We need to protect cotton so it can grow off and get a good start. But we also don’t want to go into plant bug spraying with three sprays already out for thrips.

“Generally, with a few exceptions, once cotton gets past the fourth leaf and is growing off well, we can stop worrying about thrips.”

With projected increases in grain acres and decreases in overall cotton acres, it’s also worthwhile for growers to look at where their cotton will go, if possible, especially in relation to corn.

“One of the things we strongly recommend is to try to block your cotton away from your corn if you can,” said Catchot. “We know we can’t always do that, since fields share wells – and you certainly can’t control what your neighbors do. But as we see more and more corn, we can certainly minimize some of those edge-to-edge effects.”

Of course, early season insect skirmishes just set the stage for the battles yet to come with later-season pests.

“Plant bugs are always going to be our number one issue,” reminded Catchot. “And the fewer acres in cotton may even escalate the problem to some extent. We’ll have to wait and see.

“Bollworms are very dependent on corn,” he continued. “Even though nearly 98 percent of the cotton planted is two-gene cotton, we routinely have to make overtreatments for escapes. Where we see escapes above economic thresholds, we certainly see yield benefits from overtreating. “We often tankmix pyrethroids with OPs for tarnished plant bug control during bloom, and that is sufficient for bollworm escapes. But if we continue to see pyrethroid efficacy decline on bollworms in cotton, we’ll likely have to add the diamide chemistry in some situations.”

In spite of a warm winter last year, big bollworm flights just didn’t materialize as expected. So, what about this year?

“This winter wasn’t a killing winter, but I’d say it was more of a normal winter,” he stated. “There’s no question that we’re going to deal with bollworms with all of the corn we have now. But to what extent, it’s going to be as hard to tell as it was last year.”

Leave a Reply

Insect Control Stories
Insect Control

Looking Ahead to Cutout and Terminating Insect Treatments

August 4, 2017

Although growers are still treating cotton insects, it’s appropriate to look ahead at proper timing for terminating those treatments.

Insect Control

Bollworms Attack Some Texas Cotton, Sorghum

July 14, 2017

Bollworm damage to cotton and grain sorghum is ramping up across parts of Texas.

Insect Control

Results of 2016 Insecticide Efficacy Survey Now Online

April 26, 2017

Results of the 2016 Insecticide Efficacy Survey for cotton, corn and soybeans are now available online.

Insect Control

Tennessee Receives Section 18 for Transform in Cotton

April 21, 2017

The EPA has again approved the Section 18 Emergency Exemption for use of Transform WG in Tennessee to control tarnished plant bugs in cotton.

thrips
Insect Control

New Online Tool Aids in Thrips Management Decisions

April 11, 2017

A new online tool is now available to help cotton growers better predict thrips infestations and determine options for treatment.

Insect Control

Plant Bugs Off to Warm Weather Start?

April 4, 2017

Warmer than usual winter weather could mean an earlier start for plant bugs in 2017.

Insect Control

Transform Receives Exemption for Plant Bug Control in Arkansas Cotton

March 30, 2017

Arkansas has been granted a Section 18 exemption for 2017 for use of Transform WG insecticide for management of tarnished plant bugs in cotton.

Around The Gin
Product News

Seven New Varieties in Deltapine Class of 18

December 11, 2017

Seven new varieties – including five Bollgard 3 XtendFlex offerings – join the Deltapine product lineup as the Class of 18.

Product News

Special Roundup Ready PLUS Incentives for Arkansas

December 7, 2017

Monsanto is offering a special Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Management Solutions platform in Arkansas for 2018 for growers planting XtendFlex cotton and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybean varieties.

Product News

Monsanto Sets 2018 Crop Protection Incentives

December 5, 2017

Monsanto will provide multiple tools, resources and products to help cotton and soybean growers maximize weed control in 2018.

Product News

Praxidyn’s Mixmate Named a 2018 AE50 Award Winner

November 27, 2017

The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers has recognized Praxidyn's Mixmate portable ag chemical blending and recordkeeping system with a 2018 AE50 award.

Product News

Bayer Looking for FiberMax One Ton Club Growers for 2017

November 16, 2017

Cotton growers who produce an average of 2,000 lb/A on 20 or more acres planted to FiberMax varieties in 2017 are eligible to be part of the 13th annual FiberMax One Ton Club.

Product News

Monsanto Delays NemaStrike for Additional Review

November 2, 2017

After finding cases of skin irritation, Monsanto is pulling its nematode seed treatment NemaStrike for further product review.

Product News

Intrepid Trio: Naturally Balanced Nutrition in Every Granule

November 1, 2017

Intrepid Trio contains three essential nutrients for cotton plants.

Product News

Save Time, Increase Efficiencies with Mixmate

November 1, 2017

Mixmate from Praxidyn is a precision chemical mixing system for small farms to large enterprises.

Latest News
Insect Control

Looking Ahead to Cutout and Terminating Insect Treatments

August 4, 2017

Although growers are still treating cotton insects, it’s appropriate to look ahead at proper timing for terminating those treatments.

Insect Control

Early Whitefly Detection Key to Successful Control

July 26, 2017

Whitefly populations are unusually high in Georgia cotton fields this season, making early detection and management essential.

Insect Control

How Aggressive Should Bollworm Treatments Be?

July 18, 2017

Mississippi State entomologists offer bollworm treatment suggestions based on what has been seen in fields to date and the Bt technologies used.

Insect Control

Bollworms Attack Some Texas Cotton, Sorghum

July 14, 2017

Bollworm damage to cotton and grain sorghum is ramping up across parts of Texas.

Insect Control

Results of 2016 Insecticide Efficacy Survey Now Online

April 26, 2017

Results of the 2016 Insecticide Efficacy Survey for cotton, corn and soybeans are now available online.

Insect Control

Tennessee Receives Section 18 for Transform in Cotton

April 21, 2017

The EPA has again approved the Section 18 Emergency Exemption for use of Transform WG in Tennessee to control tarnished plant bugs in cotton.

Insect Control

New Online Tool Aids in Thrips Management Decisions

April 11, 2017

A new online tool is now available to help cotton growers better predict thrips infestations and determine options for treatment.

Insect Control

Plant Bugs Off to Warm Weather Start?

April 4, 2017

Warmer than usual winter weather could mean an earlier start for plant bugs in 2017.

Insect Control

Transform Receives Exemption for Plant Bug Control in Arkansas Cotton

March 30, 2017

Arkansas has been granted a Section 18 exemption for 2017 for use of Transform WG insecticide for management of tarnished plant bugs in cotton.

Insect Control

Can Cover Crops Hamper Pest Management?

March 1, 2017

Growers will likely need to adjust their pest management practices to avoid crop losses when cover crops are used.

Insect Control

Keep Spider Mites in Mind When Planning Burndown

February 9, 2017

Spider mite management should be a consideration in every grower’s preplant burndown plans.

Insect Control

Insect Control Guide App Available from MS State

February 3, 2017

An app of the Mississippi State University 2017 Insect Control Guide is now available through the iTunes App Store, with an Android version coming soon.

Insect Control

Cotton Seed Treatment Choices Will Be More Important In 2017

January 26, 2017

Early season thrips control will be more important than ever in 2017 due to the introduction and anticipated use of dicamba-tolerant cotton varieties, according to Mississippi State University cotton specialists.

Insect Control

Insect Traits Evolving for Ongoing Bug Battles

September 8, 2016

As Mother Nature creates new challenges, the industry’s insect technologies must adapt.

Insect Control

When to Terminate Insecticide Applications in Cotton

August 24, 2016

The decision to terminate insect controls in cotton can be challenging in some fields, but a few basic considerations will assist in that decision.