facebook_pixel

Plant Bugs Are Enemy No. 1

According to data from Mississippi State University, tarnished plant bugs are not only the No. 1 most damaging pest, they are by a wide margin. The study sponsored by the Cotton Foundation shows that across the Mid-South, plant bugs reduced yields by 115,451 bales in 2007, nearly double that of the next closest pest – the tobacco budworm/cotton bollworm complex.

In the Delta area of Mississippi, growers spent a staggering $67.50 per acre to combat plant bugs, the study says. Louisiana and Arkansas spent roughly half that. A majority of the blame was placed on plant bugs that migrated in waves out of maturing corn and into still-green cotton. Hypothetically, plant bug control could have approached 100% on Monday, and a grower could be spraying a new infestation only a few days later.

This year, an additional host crop and another pest could double the trouble. According to USDA estimates, winter wheat acreage across the Mid-South has nearly tripled since 2006 to 1.67 million acres this season. Wheat is a very good host for thrips, and when wheat begins to dry down, they could beat tarnished plant bugs to adjacent cotton fields.

“There’s not a lot of things you can do preemptively, but you need to be aware of it,” says Mississippi Extension entomologist Dr. Angus Catchot. “When cotton is in an area where there is a lot of wheat, generally we can expect thrips. It’s hard to predict what any insect is going to do, but generally we are going to have high thrips numbers with the amount of wheat we have in the state in fields that are adjacent or close to cotton.”

Catchot says essentially 100% of Mississippi’s cotton has either an on-seed treatment or Temik on it. “That does work well,” he says. “We had an increase in wheat acres last year and we had significant thrips damage. People wondered at that time if seed treatments were holding up, and they were – it was just extremely high pressure.”

The proof of that, Catchot says, was in test plots scattered through the state. “We did have a little damage on plots with seed treatments,” he explains. “But we had plots next to those that were not treated with anything for thrips and the plants were almost dead.”

Cut Out Cutworms

The higher wheat acreage also is causing producers to modify their preplant burndown herbicide applications on cotton land because of the potential for drift onto neighboring wheat fields. “Cotton growers and pesticide applicators are concerned about the non-target effects of the burndown treatments and have tried to wait for days when wind is not a factor. By trying to be good stewards, they ended up spraying later than normal,” says Dr. Roger Leonard, an LSU AgCenter entomologist. “Producers tried to control heavy vegetation, which is dying slowly, and some will likely be present when planting occurs. If the soils are cool, cotton is going to emerge slowly, and the opportunity for cutworm problems could be quite extreme where there is residue.”

In those cases, Leonard says pyrethroids should be applied as a preventive application. “This treatment can be applied just prior to planting, at-planting, or immediately after planting. It does not matter as long as they put one out,” he adds.

Another consideration is that if a cutworm kills a transgenic cotton plant before the plant-protection trait can be expressed, you’ve lost more than just that plant. “You are not going to recoup that investment if a cutworm takes that plant out – you’ve lost the technology up front,” Leonard explains. “Don’t forget about cutworms.”

Caption for Sidebar:
Cotton next to corn was a common sight in 2007.

Chart:
Mid-South Insect Losses in 2007 (in bales)
Source: Mississippi State University and Cotton Foundation

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

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.

Product News

Crumpler Ironworks & Fabrication

November 1, 2017

Crumpler Ironworks & Fabrication is committed to providing the highest level of service, honesty and integrity, regardless of project size.

Product News

Delivering Proven Performance Across the Cotton Belt

November 1, 2017

Seed varieties, traits and crop protection products from Bayer deliver proven performance to growers across the Cotton Belt.

Product News

Growers Continue to Count on Americot and NexGen

November 1, 2017

Americot is dedicated to working with cotton growers throughout the Cotton Belt to provide elite performing NexGen varieties within the marketplace.

Product News

Deere Adds New Narrow Track Versions to 9RX Tractor Lineup

November 1, 2017

John Deere has added three new 9RX Narrow Track Tractors, expanding its lineup of high-horsepower machines.

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.