facebook_pixel

Managing Populations, Retaining Squares Are Keys to Plant Bug Control

From Cotton Grower Magazine – June 2014

 

No surprise here. Thanks to boll weevil eradication and the advent of transgenic insect traits for cotton, plant bugs have emerged as the most important pest in many Cotton Belt states.

The 2013 summary of Cotton Insect Losses compiled by Mississippi State University showed that the highest percentage of insect losses in cotton nationally came from plant bugs, leading to an estimated loss of 188,520 bales. The study also showed that infested acres received, on average, more than 3.5 treatments for plant bugs. For Mid-South states, however, the number of treatments per season can range from six to 12 to more.

The insect’s ability to rapidly increase populations can often seem overwhelming for growers and consultants. But recent studies showing decreased efficacy on plant bugs from many labeled insecticides are also troubling.

“We reviewed data from about 43 trials conducted in Arkansas over the past 2-3 years and looked at the percent control for the different products we had in those trials,” said Gus Lorenz, University of Arkansas Extension entomologist, speaking to a consultants conference in Memphis. “Seventy percent control was the best we could see with single product applications.

“I tell growers we don’t control plant bugs,” he continued. “We manage them. That 70 percent control may be very adequate early season before we go into bloom and those early plant bug populations take off. It may get the numbers down to where growers can maintain square retention. I’m truly not concerned about how many plant bugs I can control with a treatment. Our goal is 80 percent square retention.”

Lorenz and other Mid-South Extension entomologists have worked together to develop sampling techniques for plant bugs, as well as a common treatment threshold of three plant bugs per five row feet. That provides a good guideline for growers and consultants, especially during the key period between late squaring and the fourth week of flowering, when plant bugs can do the most damage to yields. But recent history has shown that plant bug populations can blow through a threshold and never look back.

“In our plot work, we see plant bug numbers going from 2-3 per five row feet to 60 per five row feet in a matter of 4-5 days,” stated Lorenz. “That’s how quickly it’s happens to us, and that’s how quickly it’s happening on a farm.

“If growers wait too long to make an application and knock that number down below the threshold, they’ll have to come back with another treatment pretty quickly,” he said. “A lot of growers don’t want to spray more than once a week, and I understand that. But it’s tough when plant bugs are going exponential on us. If you don’t hit them quickly, you can get into trouble.”

Rotation – as well as close attention to nozzles and application systems and timing – is the key to plant bug management. Treatment recommendations now focus on a mix of products to help protect effectiveness and keep plant bug numbers below threshold.

Diamond is a good fit during the late squaring/early flowering time period, when large numbers of adult plant bugs are usually migrating into cotton from corn or other wild hosts. But, noted Lorenz, a tankmix of Diamond and Centric can provide an additional punch if growers are trying to knock high numbers of plant bugs down to a more manageable level.

Follow with Transform during early flowering. “Transform provides a new mode of action that has shown a higher level of control than we see with some other products,” said Lorenz.

Growers can then keep focus on continuing management with tank mixes of organophosphates and pyrethroids.

“Many growers tend to rely on acephate followed by acephate followed by acephate,” stated Lorenz. “It works great, and it’s inexpensive. But you risk losing efficacy in that situation.

“Likewise, bifenthrin by itself is not very good on plant bugs,” he continued. “But later in the season, it seems to be one of the products of choice and has shown striking increases in control when put in a tankmix.”

However, warns Lorenz, some tank mixes just don’t work. Getting the right tankmix partners together is the key.

Growers also need to keep an eye on rate limits for many of these products.

“There are concerns about rate limits with some products,” said Lorenz. “For example, we’ve seen acephate rates jump from a third of a pound per acre to one pound per acre in a little over five years. When you see that kind of rate shift over a short amount of time, we can get in trouble with some of these products. That’s why it’s vitally important for us to make our technologies work and last as long as we can.

“We need to maintain everything we have to keep that control of plant bugs.”

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Crop Inputs Stories
Disease Control / Nematodes

Sweet Tooth Bacteria Tracked in Bacterial Blight

May 25, 2017

Thanks to a new discovery, researchers now may be better equipped to help Texas cotton farmers battle bacterial blight.

Weed Control

Weed Control Options in Light of Herbicide Shortages

May 9, 2017

Tennessee Extension Weed Specialist Larry Steckel outlines several options for early season cotton weed control in light of shortages of Caporol, Cotoran and Diuron.

Soybeans

Cooperation, Preparation Are Keys to Ag Sustainability

May 5, 2017

Georgia’s Stanley Culpepper outlines the training efforts for auxin herbicides in the state and praises the people who make it all work.

Weed Control

Upgrading Cotton Weed Control Step by Step

May 2, 2017

To control yield-robbing weeds, farmers need a step by step strategy, starting with a clean, weed-free field, followed by timely applications of herbicides with multiple modes of action.

Weed Control

Foliar Auxin Injury Not Good Indicator of Yield Loss

May 1, 2017

According to High Plains cotton and weed specialists, the relationship between injury from auxin herbicides and potential yield loss is difficult – if not impossible – to accurately predict.

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.

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
Disease Control / Nematodes

Sweet Tooth Bacteria Tracked in Bacterial Blight

May 25, 2017

Thanks to a new discovery, researchers now may be better equipped to help Texas cotton farmers battle bacterial blight.

Equipment

No Yield Impact from Decreased Early Season Irrigation

May 23, 2017

A University of Georgia study shows that decreasing irrigation for cotton during the early season may not affect yields, while substantially reducing water usage.

Weed Control

Glyphosate-Resistant Johnsongrass Focus of New Webcast

May 22, 2017

A new webcast on effective management of glyphosate-resistant johnsongrass has been added to the Focus on Cotton online series from the Plant Management Network and Cotton Incorporated.

Weed Control

Weed Control Options in Light of Herbicide Shortages

May 9, 2017

Tennessee Extension Weed Specialist Larry Steckel outlines several options for early season cotton weed control in light of shortages of Caporol, Cotoran and Diuron.

Soybeans

Cooperation, Preparation Are Keys to Ag Sustainability

May 5, 2017

Georgia’s Stanley Culpepper outlines the training efforts for auxin herbicides in the state and praises the people who make it all work.

Weed Control

Upgrading Cotton Weed Control Step by Step

May 2, 2017

To control yield-robbing weeds, farmers need a step by step strategy, starting with a clean, weed-free field, followed by timely applications of herbicides with multiple modes of action.

Weed Control

Foliar Auxin Injury Not Good Indicator of Yield Loss

May 1, 2017

According to High Plains cotton and weed specialists, the relationship between injury from auxin herbicides and potential yield loss is difficult – if not impossible – to accurately predict.

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.

Seed Varieties

Cotton Varieties Eyed in AgriLife High Plains Trials

April 20, 2017

With more producers interested in cotton due to good markets and prices, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension variety trials are sure to get more attention in the coming weeks and years.

Weed Control

Multiple Pre-Emerge Residual Options for Cotton

April 20, 2017

An apparent shortage of Caparol has some cotton growers scrambling to find alternatives for their pre-emergence residual herbicide program.

Precision Technology

Keep an Eye on Those Droplets!

April 19, 2017

As growers embrace new herbicides, Ag Leader brings precision monitoring to the spray rig.

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.

Crop Inputs

Georgia Growers Asked to Participate in Efficiency Survey

April 5, 2017

The University of Georgia and the Georgia Cotton Commission are asking the state’s cotton growers to participate in an online research project to help improve their production efficiency.

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.