Consistency, Earliness Are Advantageous To Cotton Farmers
Sometimes it’s nice to have a few years under your belt to assess if you’re actually on the right track. After all, one good year does not a good decade make. Nor does one bad year. Or one so-so year.
“We had good year in 2022, all things considered,” said Lyle Carraway, a grower in Bishopville, South Carolina. “Cotton and beans turned out pretty good. We didn’t plant corn due to fertilizer costs.”
With everything put to bed for 2022, Carraway said he’s mostly running around burning fuel thinking about what comes next. “There are so many factors to consider,” he said. “Inflation, supply chain issues, pest pressure, weather, emerging technologies. You name it.”
One thing is certain. He’ll be using AgLogic 15GG aldicarb again in 2023. “It’s consistent, saves me time, and if everything goes somewhat as planned, it makes me money.”
Early Season Pest Insurance
Similar to other growers, Carraway uses AgLogic 15GG for thrips and nematode control. But there are other benefits as well. “I like the consistency,” he said.
Since aldicarb (AgLogic 15GG) was reinstated to the market in 2016 after a brief hiatus, that advantage rings true now as much as it has in more than 50 years. In an increasingly complex agricultural environment, performance consistency is a reassuring factor in any aspect of crop production.
Beyond Thrips And Nematodes
“Cotton growers have benefited from the registration of aldicarb in several ways,” said Ron Smith, visiting professor (retired), entomology and plant pathology, Auburn University. “The consistent, highly effective thrips control provided by aldicarb results in farmers not needing to make foliar sprays for thrips. Our observations indicate that cotton treated with aldicarb is less likely to be infested with threshold levels of spider mites.
“This may result from a combination of spider mite control and not making a foliar thrips spray with disruptive chemicals,” Smith continued. “In addition to insect control, aldicarb also provides suppression of nematodes and has an important fit in nematode-infested fields.”
Thrips and nematode control are two reasons Lynn Hopkins has been using AgLogic on his cotton for the past three years. However, there are other reasons. Hopkins farms in Lee County, South Carolina. “The earliness we get out of the product is definitely an advantage,” he says. “The pest control is the obvious benefit, but getting the crop to jump out of the ground and get going is also a benefit.”
Hopkins applies AgLogic 15GG aldicarb at a rate of 5 lbs. per acre on his cotton. “The early thrips control saves me at least one trip across the field with a sprayer,” he said. “Since I’m a one-man operation, that advantage becomes even more valuable.”
Weather events over the past few years have made consistency of control even more important. Although thrips and nematodes are the primary reasons for early season use of AgLogic 15GG aldicarb, there is also the anticipation of what might come later. Weather is largely an unknown factor and can impact pest populations long after plant emergence.
In recent years, spring weather and peak thrips populations have been unpredictable according to Scott Graham, assistant professor and Extension specialist, Auburn University.
“In the past two years, wet springs have pushed our planting windows later in many areas,” he said. “This resulted in cotton being planted into the peak thrips pressure window, which is normally expected to be early in the planting season. The Thrips Infestation Predictor Model provides farmers with information on the risk of thrips injury based on planting dates, but sometimes this model is too late to decide on when to use aldicarb or rely on seed treatments alone.”
With planting looming shortly on the horizon, growers are turning their attention from the deer stand to upcoming management challenges. “One of the reasons I like using AgLogic is I don’t have to worry about everything quite as much,” Hopkins said. “That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to worry about, but it’s nice to know you can rest a little easier with thrips and nematode control early on.”