Thrips are the most consistent insect pest of cotton across the Southeast. Nearly all cotton planted in Georgia will be infested by thrips each year. Preventive insecticides applied as a seed treatment and/or in-furrow application at planting for thrips control provide consistent yield responses, but, in some situations, supplemental foliar insecticides may also be needed.
To help provide guidance on predicting thrips infestations and options for treatment, the Thrips Infestation Predictor for Cotton (TIP) tool is now available for grower use. Developed by North Carolina State University, the tool incorporates many years of data from across the Southeast Cotton Belt to help determine conditions for potential thrips infestations and the risk of thrips injury to young cotton.
“We have known for some time that thrips injury is a function of weather-driven seedling growth and thrips pressure,” explains Dominic Reisig, NC State Extension entomologist. “This tool uses planting date, temperature, precipitation and knowledge of when thrips pressure will occur and how severe it will be to predict when cotton is at risk.”
“The TIP tool will not replace scouting and sampling for thrips and thrips injury in cotton,” says Phillip Roberts, University of Georgia Extension entomologist. “But, it does provide information which will improve our thrips management programs. The TIP model can be used to identify planting dates which are at greatest risk for thrips injury. The tool will give the best predictions within 10-14 days after use, so use at multiple times during the planting and thrips management season would be beneficial.”
A webinar by Dr. George Kennedy, NC State professor of entomology, provides background and use of the TIP tool. The session – “Thrips Infestation Predictor for Cotton: An Online Tool for Informed Thrips Management” – is available as part of the Plant Management Network’s Focus on Cotton series.
Sources – North Carolina State University, University of Georgia