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

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

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.

Around The Gin
Product News

Six Greenleaf Nozzles Approved for Use with XtendiMax

February 24, 2017

Six TurboDrop D Series nozzles from Greenleaf Technologies have been approved for use with Monsanto’s XtendiMax herbicide with VaporGrip Technology.

Product News

EPA Approves DuPont’s FeXapan Dicamba Herbicide

February 17, 2017

DuPont has received EPA registration for FeXapan herbicide plus VaporGrip Technology, a low-volatility dicamba formulation for use on cotton and soybean varieties carrying traits that provide tolerance to dicamba and glyphosate herbicides.

Product News

Fourteen Southern States Register Enlist Duo for Use on Enlist Crops

February 14, 2017

Thirteen Southern states have granted state registration of Enlist Duo herbicide for use on Enlist cotton and other crops, following federal registration received in January.

Product News

BASF Application Academy Adds Online Training Module

February 2, 2017

BASF has added an online training module to its On Target Application Academy stewardship program to help increase education of new and advanced herbicide technologies.

Product News

Bayer Offers Shared Risk Program for FiberMax, Stoneville Growers

January 26, 2017

Bayer is helping support the economic sustainability of cotton growers through the company’s 2017 Shared Risk Program for those who plant FiberMax and Stoneville cotton seed.

Product News

Enlist Duo Herbicide Registered for Use on Enlist Cotton

January 13, 2017

The U.S. EPA has registered Enlist Duo herbicide for use on Enlist cotton varieties, beginning in 2017.

Product News

Data Show Yield Gains from Indigo Cotton in 2016

January 9, 2017

Data collected from 2016 trials show that Indigo Cotton – a seed treatment based on naturally occurring, in-plant microbes to help increase water use efficiency – led to yield improvements on testing acres, including an 11% average yield increase in West Texas.

Product News

FiberMax and Stoneville Release New Varieties for 2017

January 9, 2017

Cotton growers searching to match the right variety the right field now have two new FiberMax varieties and two new Stoneville varieties to consider for 2017.

Latest News
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.

Insect Control

Start Putting Plant Bug Plans in Place

June 13, 2016

Early planted Mid-South cotton is beginning to square. Growers need to be on alert for plant bug activity.

Insect Control

EPA Approves Five Section 18s for Transform in Cotton

June 8, 2016

The EPA has granted Section 18 emergency use exemptions in five Mid-South states for use of Transform insecticide for control of plant bugs in cotton.

Insect Control

Monitor and Treat Early for Cotton Thrips

May 17, 2016

With cotton planting underway across the High Plains, cotton producers should be on the lookout for thrips and be prepared to treat, if needed.

Insect Control

Tennessee Sets Cotton Scout School

May 17, 2016

Tennessee’s annual Cotton Scout School is set for May 27 in Jackson.

Insect Control

States Seeking Transform Exemption for Plant Bugs

May 6, 2016

Three Mid-South states have requested emergency exemptions to use Transform for tarnished plant bug control in cotton.

Insect Control

New Webcast Addresses Thrips Management Strategies

May 3, 2016

A new webcast focusing on thrips management strategies for the Southeast has been added to the Focus on Cotton online series from the Plant Management Network and Cotton Incorporated.