Cotton Planting Underway
This is Jack Bacheler, Extension Entomologist at North Carolina State University with the Wednesday cotton insect update. Today is Wednesday, April 27.
With cotton planting now underway in scattered areas of North Carolina, most producers have already selected their thrips management strategies. Most options will either include carefully deploying limited Temik supplies or moving entirely to seed treatments. As we mentioned earlier, our past replicated tests have demonstrated that all of the seed treatments are very similar in their degree of thrips control. Based on our last three years’ survey data, probably less than 20% of our cotton acreage has escaped a foliar application for thrips following the use of a seed treatment. The exception has usually been 1) either an unusual combination of adequate soil moisture and warm temperatures during the last week of April and the first two or three weeks of May, or 2) on cotton planted after about May 18-20.
In addition to Gaucho Grande, Cruiser, and the nematode plus thrips-active products Avicta Duo and Aeris, Acceleron is being be offered on Deltapine varieties in 2011. At this time, because the active ingredients and their amounts in Acceleron-treated seed are the same as the above treatments, we would expect to find similar thrips control with the thrips only and the thrips plus nematode-active versions of Acceleron. Each of the manufacturers of the seed treatments, Bayer, Syngenta and Monsanto, will use a different fungicide base, however. Hopefully, research undertaken in the next few years can shed light on the amount of disease protection offered by these products under cool wet conditions.
With most cotton seed still to be planted, observations about what kind of a “cotton insect year” that we can anticipate would be largely speculative. Corn planting seems to be spanning a longer period of time, perhaps indicating that our bollworm flight could extend over a long period of time. The size of the flight is another matter and will be best determined in June by determining the percentage of field corn ears infested with corn earworms. Weather models so far suggest that thrips flights could be on the late side this year. The degree of potential stink bug damage to cotton is often worse during wetter seasons that during droughty seasons. Much of our ‘crystal balling” of upcoming insect threats is almost entirely dependent on weather, and therefore approximately the same as flipping a coin. We’ll know more before long, however.
We’ll see you a week from today on Wednesday, May 4.