2007 Has Been Nothing Short Of A Plant Bug Nightmare

Leonard is a research entomologist at the LSU Ag Center’s Macon Ridge Station in Winnsboro, LA, and he said that in early April of this year. What was possible was the equivalent of a child’s fear of the monster in the closet. What happened was that the plant-bug monster busted down the door and beat the Mid-South cotton crop over the head.

Mississippi, for the first time since 1958, had more corn acreage than cotton. Louisiana, for the first time since 1979, had more corn than cotton, too. Each state set the table for an explosion of plant bugs. The rule, rather than the exception, was that most areas were spraying at least once a week, and in some extreme instances every 3-5 days. It brought back terrible memories of cotton fields in the Mid-South being sprayed on a weekly schedule for budworms, bollworms and boll weevils. Some fields were treated 15-16 times. Boll weevil eradication programs and the introduction of Bt varieties took the weevil and some heliothines off the front burner. The tarnished plant bug filled that void.

According to Mississippi State University research, plant bugs can survive on 170 wild-plant hosts, and can reproduce on over a 100. Cotton Incorporated-sponsored studies have confirmed that the tarnished plant bug is now cotton’s primary pest.

Survival of the Fittest

“This area” — Stoneville, MS, and contiguous counties up and down the Mississippi River — “has had some serious problems with plant bugs.” says Dr. Angus Catchot, Extension Professor, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Mississippi State University. “We had some cotton sprayed nine times.

“At pinhead square, we had several treatments set up,” Catchot continues. “We set low thresholds and high thresholds for automatic sprays. We had a check. We hit every threshold, every week of squaring.”

Normal thresholds in Mississippi are 8 adults per 100 sweeps. “Averaged across all treatments, at week one, we were averaging 31 plant bugs per 100 sweeps,” says Catchot. “Square retention coming out of the gate was 69%.”

Seven days after the first insecticide application, plant bug counts were up to 33 per 100 sweeps, and square retention dropped to 60%. The third application took place eight days later because of rain, and counts moved up to 48 plant bugs per 100 sweeps; square retention dropped to 40%.

“I don’t want to paint a picture of gloom and doom because we do have some good cotton; some fantastic cotton,” Catchot continues. “But plant bugs have been bad … we are just not controlling plant bugs like we used to. ”

Now What?

Obviously putting the monster back in the closet will include IPM programs. With the popularity of insecticide-treated seed, ensuing foliar applications should be avoided with classes of the same chemistry. For instance, the active ingredient thiomethoxam is the insecticide component in Cruiser and Avicta seed treatments. Centric, a product used as a foliar spray, also contains thiomethoxam. The active ingredient imidacloprid is found in Gaucho Grande and AERIS seed treatments, and in the foliar-applied Trimax-Pro. All of these products are in the neonicotinoid class.

Monsanto has a plant-bug protection trait coming, but it is at least several years down the road.

Caption:

Plant bugs migrated into cotton in enormous numbers when corn, as it was maturing, became less of an attractive host.

Leave a Reply

Insect Control Stories
Insect Control

Wake-Up Call for Old World Bollworm

August 20, 2015

The Old World bollworm – an aggressive global pest – has apparently found its way to the U.S.

Insect Control

New Webcast Focuses on Lygus Management in Texas High Plains

August 17, 2015

A new webcast focusing on lygus management in the Texas High Plains cotton has been added to the Focus on Cotton online series from the Plant Management Network and Cotton Incorporated.

Insect Control

Set Treatment Schedule for Plant Bugs

June 1, 2015

As young cotton matures, it’s time to take the offensive when dealing with plant bugs.

Insect Control

Evaluate Young Cotton for Thrips Damage

May 29, 2015

With good stands of young cotton emerging in most fields, it’s time to start watching for signs of thrips damage.

Insect Control

Dates Confirmed for Tennessee and Arkansas Scout Schools

May 18, 2015

The University of Tennessee and the University of Arkansas have confirmed dates for each state’s upcoming cotton scout schools.

Insect Control

Dates Set for Georgia Cotton Scout Schools

May 11, 2015

The University of Georgia will conduct two cotton insect scouting schools in early June.

Insect Control

Watch Emerging Cotton Closely for Signs of Thrips

May 7, 2015

With cotton now in the ground and starting to emerge, it’s time to watch closely to see if pre-plant thrips treatments are holding.

Around The Gin
Product News

Falcon Adds Two New Automated Precision Soil Samplers

August 28, 2015

Falcon Soil Technology has added two new automated soil sampling systems to its product lineup.

Product News

HUMA GRO Adds New Boron Liquid Nutrient Formulation for Crops

August 28, 2015

BORO-MAX, a new boron 10 percent liquid nutrient formulation, is now available from HUMA GRO.

Product News

On-Farm Research Helps Ease Grower Questions About Enlist System

July 31, 2015

Southern cotton and soybean growers who have worked with the Enlist Weed Control System in on-farm research plots are now sharing their experiences.

Product News

Nufarm Introduces Panther SC Herbicide

July 24, 2015

Nufarm is introducing Panther SC herbicide, a new broad-spectrum herbicide for use in cotton and other Southern row crops.

Product News

USDA Deregulates Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist Cotton Trait

July 23, 2015

The USDA has deregulated Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist cotton trait in the United States.

Product News

Ratting Out Copper Theft

June 10, 2015

A simple alarm technology is helping to stop copper thieves who target irrigation systems.

Product News

EPA Approves New Premix for 2016 for Cotton, Soybean Weed Control

May 29, 2015

Cotton and soybean growers will have a new weed control option in 2016 with Warrant Ultra Herbicide, a premix of acetochlor and fomesafen.

Product News

Deltapine NPE Program Begins Eighth Year of On-Farm Variety Evaluation

April 28, 2015

Nearly 200 farmers will be part of the Deltapine New Product Evaluator program this year to help evaluate cotton variety candidates for the Deltapine Class of 16.

Latest News
Insect Control

Wake-Up Call for Old World Bollworm

August 20, 2015

The Old World bollworm – an aggressive global pest – has apparently found its way to the U.S.

Insect Control

New Webcast Focuses on Lygus Management in Texas High Plains

August 17, 2015

A new webcast focusing on lygus management in the Texas High Plains cotton has been added to the Focus on Cotton online series from the Plant Management Network and Cotton Incorporated.

Insect Control

Plan Cotton Insect Strategies for Mid to Late Bloom

July 17, 2015

Scott Stewart, Tennessee Extension entomologist, offers several strategies to help manage plant bugs, stink bugs and bollworms during the blooming period.

Insect Control

NC State: Managing Plant Bugs in Cotton Presquare

June 10, 2015

An early wave of plant bugs is causing problems in young presquare cotton in North Carolina.

Insect Control

Set Treatment Schedule for Plant Bugs

June 1, 2015

As young cotton matures, it’s time to take the offensive when dealing with plant bugs.

Insect Control

Evaluate Young Cotton for Thrips Damage

May 29, 2015

With good stands of young cotton emerging in most fields, it’s time to start watching for signs of thrips damage.

Insect Control

Dates Confirmed for Tennessee and Arkansas Scout Schools

May 18, 2015

The University of Tennessee and the University of Arkansas have confirmed dates for each state’s upcoming cotton scout schools.

Insect Control

Dates Set for Georgia Cotton Scout Schools

May 11, 2015

The University of Georgia will conduct two cotton insect scouting schools in early June.

Insect Control

Watch Emerging Cotton Closely for Signs of Thrips

May 7, 2015

With cotton now in the ground and starting to emerge, it’s time to watch closely to see if pre-plant thrips treatments are holding.

Insect Control

Mississippi Scout School Schedule Set

April 16, 2015

Mississippi State University has scheduled five scout schools in late May and early June.

Insect Control

Georgia Scientists Seek Public’s Help in Tracking New Stink Bug

April 14, 2015

University of Georgia entomologists are asking Georgians to help track an insect that loves to stow away in homes and could potentially hurt the state’s crops, including cotton.

Insect Control

Plan Now for Plant Bug Management

March 6, 2015

Mississippi State University entomologists have developed Best Management Practices to help growers make plant bug management in cotton more economical, without sacrificing yield.

Insect Control

Search for Thrips Control Options Continues

February 3, 2015

Thrips control in 2014 proved challenging for many growers. And the findings from field studies conducted last year may not provide many happy answers for this season.

Insect Control

New Mid-South Insect Control Guides Now Available

January 22, 2015

Insect control guides for 2015 are now available from the University of Tennessee and from Mississippi State University.

Insect Control

Genome Mapping Signals Brighter Days for U.S. Cotton

December 6, 2014

At a time when growers rely increasingly more on genetic advancements in yield and fiber quality to keep cotton economically viable, cotton breeders and researchers are excited about the possibilities that genome mapping brings to variety and trait development.