facebook_pixel

Plant Bugs in the Delta

With an abundance of tarnished plant bug devastation from the 2007 season in the rear-view mirror, entomologists and Extension experts across the Mid-South are bracing for another invasion this year. Between prime weather conditions and the almost inexhaustible availability of nearby host crops, the message to growers is clear: be prepared for another onslaught.

Last year’s plant bug statistics from Mississippi State’s Entomology and Plant Pathology Department paint a grim picture. Although plant bugs accounted for large losses Beltwide, Mid-South growers bore the brunt of the pest’s impact. Arkansas growers lost 44,825 bales, with per-acre control costs of up to $38 in the Delta region. Louisiana witnessed similar losses, spending up to $30.92 per acre statewide. Growers in just the Delta region of Mississippi spent a staggering $67.50 per acre and lost just shy of 20,000 bales to plant-bug damage.

Prime Conditions

In the face of such grim numbers, growers and consultants in the Mid-South are concerned about what the pests might do for an encore performance this year.

“It’s always hard to predict what insects are going to do, but typically we do have more plant bugs in a wet spring and that is exactly what we’ve been experiencing this year,” says Dr. Angus Catchot, Mississippi Extension entomologist.

The spring rains allow for natural host plants to flourish, which in turn provides ample breeding grounds for plant bugs. Catchot said he had no trouble finding plenty of the pests in mid to late May, a scenario that played out in much the same way last year. And, he says, “We’re expecting more of the same this year.”

Consultants across the Mid-South did glean some valuable treatment information during last season’s infestation, though. While there is no cure-all for the plant bug dilemma, entomologists seem to agree that reducing the number of days between treatments is one of the best lines of defense.

Lessons Learned the Hard Way

“The only way you can really deal with them is to shorten up the intervals between sprays. Our strategy has been to break the life cycle, and in order to do that you really have to do about three applications about five days apart,” says Mark Polk, a private consultant in Indianola, MS.

While options are limited for preemptive treatment, Polk urges his clients to destroy host plants around cotton fields. But of course, not all of the surrounding host plants are so expendable.

The increased amount of corn and grain acreage in the Mid-South provide additional attractive hosts for the plant bug, and as those crops dry down and become less inhabitable in mid to late season, the pests will migrate – only a few yards in some cases – into the cotton fields. The end result in 2007 was as obvious as it was painful for growers.

“We did some spraying over into the adjacent grains. We’d dressed up around corn, or milo, or soybeans and try to overlap and have sort of a buffer zone there. None of the grains were being treated with insecticides and that’s where a lot of the build up took place,” says Polk, adding that he treated surrounding crops predominately with dimethoate.

He’s not alone in advising growers to create a buffer zone in between the two crops if they are indeed planted side by side in order to minimize damage. “You talk about lessons learned last season, and one of the things we’ll be doing is scouting those interfaces a lot more closely. We may not be treating the whole field but just those borders next to the corn fields in order to save us a whole-field treatment later in the year,” Catchot says.

Caption:

Cotton adjacent to corn was a common sight in ‘07.

Caption photo:

Dr. Angus Catchot

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.