Saturday, April 20, 2024

Control Insects To Protect The Lint

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• Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy, Southeast Missouri State University. • Started M&M Crop Specialties in 2012. • Consults on cotton, soybeans and corn. • Covers counties in Missouri, including New Madrid, Scott, Stoddard and Mississippi. • Wife Kathy. Daughter Makenzie and her husband, Gage. Son Mason. Three grandchildren: Elle, Chandler and Forrest. • Member of Church of Christ in New Madrid, Missouri. • Enjoys golf and duck and deer hunting. Recap: Control Insects To Protect The Lint ▼ 1. When we treated for thrips last year, we noticed the effectiveness of the thrips control products we used in the past had diminished. Some provided zero control. 2. At that point, we applied Intrepid Edge® insecticide, which provided very good thrips control. 3. This year, when we reach economic threshold for thrips, we will apply Intrepid Edge insecticide the first time. 4. We typically apply Transform® WG insecticide around first bloom to control tarnished plant bug. It gives us a higher percentage of adult plant bug control than the products we used in the past and provides longer residual.

Kirk Palmer

M&M Crop Specialties
New Madrid, Missouri

During college, I started scouting cotton as an intern for a local retailer who had hired a consultant. After I graduated, they hired me to consult on their cotton acres for about four years until I moved into sales. What piqued my interest in cotton and kept me scouting on the weekends was knowing I was helping farmers control insects, manage their crop and maximize yields. In 2012, I started my own consulting business — M&M Crop Specialties — in New Madrid, Missouri.

Last year was extremely dry, but a lot of the cotton acres in this area are irrigated. Because it was so dry throughout the growing season, we had tremendous mite pressure all year long. A huge rain came through the second week of August and threw a lot of fruit, but our crop was still a little bit above average.

I don’t mind a cover crop, but I advise growers to plant into a clean environment because weeds are a host for insects. The more weeds you have, the more insect pressure you have because there are two hosts in the field — weeds and cotton plants. Farmers need to layer residual herbicides to start off clean and try to prevent Palmer pigweed from emerging.

Thrips And Tarnished Plant Bug

When we treated for thrips last year, we noticed the effectiveness of the thrips control products we used in the past had diminished. Some provided zero control. At that point, we applied Intrepid Edge® insecticide, which provided very good thrips control. This year, when we reach economic threshold for thrips, we will apply Intrepid Edge insecticide the first time. We are going to use the product that works.

Another target pest is tarnished plant bug. Early in the season, we scout for them with sweep nets. As the cotton gets bigger, we use black drop cloths to get our counts. We typically apply Transform® WG insecticide with Isoclast active around first bloom to control plant bugs in this area. It gives us a higher percentage of adult plant bug control than the products we used in the past and provides longer residual, too. About 80% of the time, one application of Transform WG insecticide has done a good job. If we have extremely high plant bug pressure, we make two applications of Transform WG insecticide back to back.

We got a great deal of fieldwork done this past fall and have the potential for an early cotton crop and a strong cotton crop, which is what we need to be successful in our area.

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