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Crop Protection

Industry News Oct. 2016

Texan Named In Faces Of Farming And Ranching A Texan has been named one of the eight finalists in the third class of Faces of Farming and Ranching by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA). Texas Farm Bureau member Jeremy Brown grows cotton, organic cotton, wheat, grain sorghum, rye, peanuts and sesame on the South Plains of West Texas. He ... Read More »

BWCC To Address Weed Problems

If a cotton producer has questions about weed resistance, he will find the answers at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences (BWCC) on Jan. 5-7 in New Orleans. This will be one of the key topics of discussion at the Consultants Conference, as well as the Technical Conferences. Obviously, other issues of interest are on the schedule, but perhaps none is timelier than this expensive problem. Most observers agree that cotton producers have made remarkable progress in understanding this situation and implementing workable strategies. But, there is still much to learn as new technologies become available to cotton production. “The good news is that we’ve made great progress in controlling resistant pigweed in cotton,” says Tom Barber, Arkansas Extension weed specialist and chairman of the BWCC Weed Science Conference. “I think our farmers completely understand the importance of overlapping residual herbicide applications. What has us concerned is some PPO (protoporphyrinogen oxidase) resistance that we’ve discovered in seven counties in Arkansas. Fortunately, they’ve all been in soybean fields and not cotton.” Barber says the big concern is will Reflex herbicide still give farmers the necessary control if the PPO resistance problem moves into cotton fields. Read More »

Don’t Let Insects Spoil Your Picnic

We have made great strides in the last 20 years with the eradication of the boll weevil in almost all parts of the Cotton Belt and the adoption of Bt cotton varieties that substantially control caterpillar pests. However, there are still annual battles with insect and mite pests that require our diligence. Starting at the beginning, thrips management typically requires the use of at-planting insecticides. Almost everyone is using an insecticide seed treatment, and the option for Temik is no longer available. The spreading resistance of tobacco thrips to thiamethoxam, the active ingredient in Cruiser, caught us a little by surprise the last several years. In the Mid-South, this has essentially put an end to the use of Cruiser and other thiamethoxam- based insecticide seed treatments in cotton. We are concerned about going down a similar path with imidacloprid (e.g. Gaucho) as it is being used now almost exclusively. Read More »

Texas Insect Pressure Varies in Each Region

The Texas High Plains (THP), largest contiguous cotton patch in the world, had faced an unprecedented drought in 2011 and was unable to recover from the severe drought conditions until last fall. The insect pressure in cotton was relatively low during those dry years. The region has now received significant moisture. In fact, THP cotton planting to date has been limited to less than 10 percent due to the frequent rain events, which would have approached 50 percent in more normal years. We expect the planting to speed up as soon as the weather clears up. With good area-wide moisture and roadside weed hosts in high abundance, a higher-than-usual insect pressure can be expected this year in the THP and throughout Texas. Roadside weed hosts, Conservation Reserve Program grasses and wheat serve as excellent sources of thrips that could likely move to seedling cotton upon wheat harvest or weed senescence. Thrips are considered the most significant insect pest of THP cotton, primarily because their damage is generally compounded with early season environmental injury of seedling cotton brought on by high winds, sandstorms and cool/wet weather. Read More »

Best Stink Bug Strategy?

It is hard to describe the behavior of the dreaded stink bug, which has wreaked havoc on cotton fields in the Southeast – and especially Georgia – for nearly two decades. The bad news is that this pest is here to stay. The good news is that farmers have tools and technology that are helping control the state’s No. 1 cotton insect pest. In addition to new strategies, researchers now seem to understand the pest’s behavior as compared to pre-Bt cotton days before 1996. Extension entomologist Phil Roberts, based in Tifton, Ga., says it’s also easier to explain other scientific facts about this pest. “I have had a lot of farmers ask why we can’t eradicate the stink bug – especially after we eradicated the boll weevil,” he says. “The only way you can eradicate any pest is if there is a weak link in its biology.” Read More »

Cotton Consultants Corner: Making Choices To Ensure Success

CHRIS DRAKE OWNER OF SANDY POINTS FARMS AND TERRITORY AGRONOMIST FOR PHYTOGEN COTTONSEED NEWSOMS, VA. I am a fourth-generation farmer in Southampton County, Va. During the summers while in college, I was employed by different entities in which I worked with cotton programs, including those at the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station under the direction of the cotton specialist. Meanwhile, I ... Read More »

Seed Treatments – An Important Investment

Seed treatments are an important investment for cotton farmers to make each year. Most will say that it’s mindboggling to think about the front-end costs made in a crop before it ever comes out of the ground. But those same producers will agree that technology comes with a price tag, and it’s essential in today’s production environment. Whether it’s preventing ... Read More »