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Cotton Consultant's Corner:
Early Season Insect Control

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Click here to ask Trent LaMastus a question or submit a comment about this month’s Cotton Consultant’s Corner.

Early Season Insect Control Recap:


• Insecticide seed treatments
primarily offer thrip control in
seedling cotton and help suppress
early season plant bugs, fleahoppers
and aphids.

• Seed treatments that offer a nematicide can suppress low to
moderate levels of nematodes.

• With seed treatments, you don’t have to worry about hopper boxes
stopping up.

• From square to cutout, Bollgard II takes out tobacco budworm.

• With worms out of the picture, we can focus more on controlling
plant bugs, aphids and spider mites.


Trent LaMastus
LaMastus Cotton Consultants, Inc.
Cleveland, Miss. 

• BS degree in Biology from Delta State University
• Member of Mississippi Ag Consultants Assn. for 15 years
• Served 2-year term on MACA Board of Directors
• Consults on cotton, soybeans, corn and other crops
• Soybean, rice and corn grower
• Enjoys spending time with his wife of 11 years, Jennifer,
  and sons, S. Trent, Jr. and William Tucker.

Seed treatments that include insecticides give cotton
producers more options for preventing damage on seedling
cotton from early season pests like thrip, plant bugs, fleahoppers and aphids.

Under favorable growing conditions, these products can
give up to three weeks of control. In less than favorable
growing conditions, a foliar insecticide application may be
needed to help the cotton through a period of time when
it is unable to outgrow any damage that high levels of
insect pressure may cause.

Some seed treatments also include a nematicide and
fungicides. The nematicide seed treatments help suppress
low to moderate levels of nematodes, while the fungicide
treatment is for disease control.

Having some or all of these seed treatment combinations
on the seed can be of great benefit to producers. Safety
issues for the producer and his labor are greatly reduced.
Turnrow down time is greatly reduced because there is no
handling of any material other than seed. Also, there are
no calibrations to be made other than seed populations.
This, in turn, reduces possible mechanical error we
sometimes experience with hopper box treatments.

As I mentioned, today’s seed treatments are of great help
in protecting our seedling cotton from early pests. Another
tool many of my growers are starting to utilize is BGII
technology. We see some benefit in having two genes in
the cotton plant to help protect against budworm and bollworm
and the armyworm complex. It has been my experience
that BGII – like BG – will control budworms for the
entire season.

Bollworms can sometimes still be a concern, but BGII suppresses them very well. There have been only a few cases where I felt a foliar treatment was needed to control bollworm in BGII. As a consultant, it is helpful not to have to focus so much on the budworm problems we used to have to deal with.

From first square to cutout, plant bugs, spider mites, aphids and other pests can all be a problem. BGII allows me to do a better job of managing these pests.


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