To Be Profitable, Stay On Top Of Insects

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B.S. degree in Ag Science and Environmental Systems, University of Georgia. Started Cotton Ag Services in 2018 and consults in southwest Georgia. The main row crops on which he consults are cotton, corn, peanuts, and soybeans. Also consults on some pecan trees and 200 acres of cold, hardy citrus. Member, Georgia Citrus Association. Member, St. Teresa’s Catholic Church in Albany, Georgia. Married to Frances “Francie” Cotton. One son: Henry Cotton, 1. Enjoys conducting citrus trials and looking after 25 acres of pecans on his farm in Terrell County.

Recap: To Be Profitable, Stay On Top Of Insects. 1. Thrips pressure was pretty heavy last year, which pushed back maturity on some of the cotton. We are considering trying Radiant® SC insecticide this year because spinetoram does such a great job on thrips and has good residual, too. 2. If we have a lot of wet weather, tarnished plant bug shows up. We will go with Transform® WG insecticide at 1.5 fl oz/acre up to 2.0 fl oz/acre so we can get that residual. 3. Transform is an incredible aphid material and is cost- effective, too. If you are not seeing the aphid-killing fungus coming in, you can’t wait. You’ve got to spray. That’s where Transform really stands out.

Corey Cotton

Cotton Ag Services
Albany, Georgia

When I was 13 years old, my dad — who also is a consultant — started taking me to the field to scout cotton, which was his biggest crop. Later on, I got a degree in ag science and environmental systems from the University of Georgia. Upon returning from college, I continued working for my dad and then joined Southern Ag Consulting for about a year and a half. In 2018, I started my own consulting business — Cotton Ag Services — in southwest Georgia.

Thrips pressure was pretty heavy last year, which pushed back maturity two to three weeks on some of the cotton where we had substantial damage. We were spraying acephate insecticide twice in spots trying to knock them down, but acephate is not doing the job it used to. We are considering trying Radiant® SC insecticide this year because spinetoram does such a great job on thrips and has good residual, too. 

Tarnished plant bug and stink bugs were bad in pockets. Early dry weather kept plant bug numbers down, but as we got more rain in late June and early July, the numbers started picking up on some of our later planted cotton. If we have a lot of wet weather, tarnished plant bug shows up. We will go with Transform® WG insecticide at 1.5 fl oz/acre up to 2.0 fl oz/acre so we can get that residual.

If it’s dry weather and we have a field where we are seeing some plant bugs and early aphids, we’ll put out Transform. This slows down the aphid populations on young cotton where we don’t want to get a lot of yield-robbing damage. Transform is an incredible aphid material and is cost-effective, too. If you are not seeing the aphid-killing fungus coming in, you can’t wait. You’ve got to spray. That’s where Transform really stands out.

When we get into the second or third week of bloom, we worry more about stink bugs. If they are out there, we are treating them. Stink bugs are a big deal for us.

Protect The Money Bolls

As far as this season, if we start seeing wet weather when the plants begin squaring, we will hit the go button on plant bugs. I definitely will be looking for nymphs in the terminals of the plant.  It’s important to manage plant bugs through early squaring because that’s where the money bolls will be. Most of the weight is going to come from the bottom five fruiting branches.

Even with prices the way they are, there is still a chance­ — with timely management — to make a cotton crop and turn a profit here in the Southeast.

™ ® Trademarks of Corteva Agriscience and its affiliated companies. Isoclast® is a registered active ingredient. Radiant® SC and Transform® WG are not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Always read and follow label directions. © Corteva 2023.

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