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Insect Control

Emphasis On Yield, Quality And Irrigation Response

Ken Legé PhytoGen Cotton Development Specialist Lubbock, Texas   Prior to joining PhytoGen, I had noticed that the germplasm coming out of PhytoGen’s robust West Texas breeding program that will serve the entire Southwest was producing high, consistent yields and was well suited to that area. In addition, the PhytoGen® brand varieties were exhibiting storm tolerance and tolerance to Verticillium, ... Read More »

RGV Anticipates Another Good Season

John Norman John Norman Ag Consultation Weslaco, Texas My first work in pest management in cotton, other than the farm I was raised on in Cameron County, was with the USDA at Brownsville, helping to read results from insecticide trials. All that occurred in the early to mid-60s and then again in the early 70s following a stint in the ... 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 »

Erratic Weather May Cause Pest Pressure

Western cotton producers and pest control specialists are staying alert for changing field conditions because of this season’s erratic weather patterns and continued water concerns in the region. In California, early season cotton was subject to pressures that are not typically a widespread problem in that state. “It’s been a strange early season with some early, widespread armyworm damage,” says ... 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 »

Spray App Helps Monitor Insect Pests

The Bootheel of Southeast Missouri is home to about 98 percent of the state’s cotton acreage. Cotton, as a high-value commercial crop, has seen a significant increase in pesticide use over the past five years. With this increased use, more attention is being paid to those insecticides that are not only most appropriate for pest control in individual fields but also affect the pest, crop and surrounding environment. Insecticide choices must be concerned with efficacy, selectivity and secondary pests. In addition, frequently used insecticides must be continually monitored for pest susceptibility (i.e. evolving resistance).In the case of pesticide sprays, the monitoring of pest incidence and intensity is nothing new. What are new are the technology tools that make pest observations more than just numbers. Read More »