facebook_pixel

Insect Sprays Declining

Stink Bug

Since the advent of Bt cotton and after boll weevil  eradication, Georgia growers have gone from almost seven annual insect sprays in 1995, to less than three in 2011.

“That’s about a 50% reduction in insecticide applications,” says University of Georgia Extension entomologist Phillip Roberts. “Granted there is a lot of variability in the number of applications made in different areas across the county. But the success of the boll weevil eradication program, the commercialization of Bt cotton – Bollgard being the first introduced in 1996 – is very apparent. But just because there is reduction in sprays for insect control does not necessarily make insect-pest management easier.

“The one thing that did change after the introduction of Bt cotton was our primary targets – we shifted from heliothines to true bugs such as stinkbugs and plant bugs.”
In other words, the primary pests – tobacco budworms and bollworms – became secondary pests.  The budworm was almost uncontrollable before Bollgard hit the market and some growers were spaying once a week and still had budworm problems. Plus, using harsher insecticides for budworm control took its toll on  beneficial insects. Then came Bollgard – the salvation in budworm control. And Bollworms can be controlled by a reasonably low-priced pyrethroid application.

In 1972, the average yield in Georgia was 395 pounds an acre, but the state has come a long way since then because better pest management helps bring out the best in a varitest’s yield potential.

Later on, growers were already treating for boll weevils, and the decision on insecticide sprays came down to whether or not to add additional insecticides for other pests. Sometimes an insecticide application does take out the target pest and some others, but the spray could flare other insects.

“Decisions made in terms of thrips management could influence pest management in early-mid season, and even late season,” Phillips says. “For example, foliar sprays for thrips could flare aphids. Treating for aphids could select for resistant plant bugs. Increased sprays for plant bugs could flare mites, and the tread mill continues.”

Integrated Pest Management

Roberts says the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) used today is informed pest management, not just checking cotton and spraying when economic thresholds dictates.

“There is a payoff for knowledge of the system and available control tactics.” he adds. “But a grower must have knowledge of the system, knowledge of the crop and knowledge of the pests present – whether it be an insect, a weed, or disease, or a nematode,” Roberts adds. “There must also be Knowledge of the insecticides, traits, and the effects of cultural practices, such as planting dates and tillage. And the knowledge of how all of this allows you to make better pest-management decisions.”

It’s essential that a grower understands the complexities of the IPM system and knowing what’s available in terms of management or control tactics.
Certainly, Bollgard cotton was revolutionary and game-changing technology. And it’s a fact that as growers accepted Bollgard, there was a reduction in the number of insecticide sprays applied annually.

In 2003, a trial was conducted in Georgia comparing Bollgard II and Bollgard. 

“Bollgard II is a superior technology for control of caterpillar pests. We observed excellent control of tobacco budworms and corn earworms and had to make no sprays for caterpillar pests,” Roberts says.

“But stinkbugs exploited this unsprayed environment and yields were poor in this trial.

Today stinkbugs are a primary pest in most of the Southeast,” he adds.

Loss of Temik: Where to Now?

The shortage of Temik aldicarb insecticide/nematicide will cause growers to scramble for a replacement product. 

“I anticipate that in 2012 the loss of Temik will have a significant impact on thrips management programs, especially in the Southeast where Temik has remained the standard at-planting insecticide,” Roberts says. “Many growers will be using alternative treatments, such as neonicotinoid seed treatments.
According to Roberts, many technologies – both foliar sprays and Bt traits – are utilized in multiple-cropping systems. Many pests, such as corn earworm and stink bugs, use these same crops during the year. Expansion of uses in multiple cropping systems may change population dynamics for some insects, which may be a positive.

“However, expansion of uses in cropping systems necessitates more careful consideration in planning for resistance management,” Roberts explains. “IPM is a proven program. IPM can reduce the need for insecticides, thus reducing selection pressure for resistant pests. Applications of insecticides are a vital component of IPM programs.  When managing a complex of insects, the potential of flaring non-target pests, suppression of economic insects present, and resistance management must all be considered when selecting control technologies.

“We have a good arsenal of insect-control tools. We do have needs, especially for control of true bugs he continues. “We’re looking forward to the registration of new active ingredients, such as sulfoxaflor (Transform), which has activity on our sucking-bug complex. But we must do all we can to preserve current tools. Resistance management must be a priority.”

Leave a Reply

Insect Control Stories
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

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.

Around The Gin
Product News

Transform Earns Section 18 Exemptions for Cotton, Sorghum

May 4, 2017

Transform WG insecticide has received Section 18 emergency use exemptions for use in cotton and sorghum in select states for the 2017 production season.

Product News

EPA Approves Monsanto’s NemaStrike Technology

May 2, 2017

The EPA has issued registration for tioxazafen, a new nematicide from Monsanto that will be branded as NemaStrike Technology for nematode control and yield protection in cotton, corn and soybeans.

Product News

Indigo Partners Launched for In-Field Technology Testing

April 25, 2017

Indigo is launching Indigo Partners, a collaboration of 25 U.S. growers and agronomic experts to test agricultural technologies – including Indigo’s microbial seed treatments – during 2017.

Product News

UPI Adds New Herbicide Products

April 14, 2017

UPI has added two new herbicides to its portfolio of high quality crop protection products for the U.S.

Product News

FiberMax One Ton Club Membership Tops 1,000

April 14, 2017

A record number of growers qualified for the FiberMax One Ton Club in 2016 with four-bale and higher yields with FiberMax varieties.

Product News

Deltapine NPE Program Kicks off Tenth Year

April 10, 2017

Nearly 200 growers will participate in the tenth season of the Deltapine New Product Evaluator (NPE) Program.

Product News

BASF Expands Dicamba Manufacturing Facility

March 22, 2017

BASF has completed a $270 million expansion of its Beaumont, TX, facility – the largest agricultural products facility investment in company history.

Product News

Topguard Terra Label Amendments for Cotton Root Rot in Texas

March 7, 2017

Texas growers now have additional preplant and post planting options for using Topguard Terra to control cotton root rot.

Latest News
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.

Insect Control

Finalizing Cotton Insect Control

August 2, 2016

As many cotton fields reach or approach cutout, it’s time for growers to start making final insect management decisions.

Insect Control

Don’t Relax Yet on Plant Bug Treatments

July 26, 2016

Although many cotton fields in the Mid-South are approaching cutout, it’s not yet time to back off on plant bug treatments.

Insect Control

Keeping a Watchful Eye on Plant Bugs

June 22, 2016

Plant bugs are back. Diligent scouting and careful management can help lessen their impact.

Insect Control

Growers Urged to Comment on Aldicarb Re-Registration

June 13, 2016

Cotton growers in the Mid-South have until June 22 to comment on re-registration of aldicarb for use in the region in 2017.