Virginia cotton growers can now use Transform to control tarnished plant bug in cotton in 2019 (June 1 – Oct 1). This product will allow us to rotate modes of action and reduce our dependence on acephate and pyrethroids to manage this potentially destructive pest. Transform is softer on beneficials too, but you must notify beekeepers within 1 mile of cotton fields and, if there are known hives, apply before 7am or after 7pm when cotton is flowering. Transform is applied at 1.5-2.25 oz/A. Follow all label directions and keep a copy of the label with you when applying.
Based on early sampling numbers, we will have another high pressure year. Spray test results from the Tidewater AREC (shown below) can help you chose insecticides. Neonicotinoids (Admire, Belay, Centric, Endigo) should not be used after first bloom and are less effective during this time. Diamond is a growth regulator and is more effective against nymphs. There is evidence that it suppresses adult reproduction.
The single most important thing you can do to protect cotton from plant bugs is to spray at extension recommended thresholds (8 per 100 sweeps or 2-3 per drop cloth sample). As always, the only way to know what is in your field is to scout.
Call/text/email me if you have questions.
Virginia cotton requires a thrips control product at planting to preserve yield and avoid maturity delays. This is especially true since the arrival of tarnished plant bugs. Any maturity delay early-season will likely magnify plant bug injury. Cotton planted at the end of April and first week of May has put on 1-2 true leaves. It is time to scout for thrips injury and make foliar applications when necessary.
Levels of injury to cotton seedlings rated from ‘0’ (no damage) to ‘5’ (dead terminal
or plant) from thrips. Injury at ‘2-3’ or above approximates a threshold for intervention with an
insecticide application. (Photo and caption from Kerns et al., 2018)
Using a seed treatment alone will likely require a foliar spray based on research from the Tidewater AREC. In-furrow aldicarb and in-furrow imidacloprid with a seed treatment should not need a foliar spray. Scout cotton planted with in-furrow imidacloprid alone and determine if a foliar application is necessary (often it is not – saving you time and money).
All cotton planted in Virginia is under high risk for thrips injury. NCSU prediction model shows risk increasing in later-planted cotton. This model was highly accurate in 2018.
Tips for foliar applications: Consider plant-date and growing conditions. Cotton planted late-May into warm soil may not need a foliar spray. Do not apply foliar acephate if plants are growing fast with no to minimal thrips injury. Thrips injury is likely for all cotton planted in Virginia and risk will be high until plants are no longer susceptible. The three diagrams below from the NCSU model show when seedling susceptibility declines based on planting date (May 1, May 8, May 15). The blue line on these diagrams shows you when risk for thrips injury is highest.
Spraying is most effective when the first leaf is the size of a pencil tip to a mouse ear. I recommend a 6-8 oz. rate of acephate. Several scenarios may be responsible for reduced efficacy of sprays:
1. Rain. Acephate is not a rain fast product. Consider reapplying if necessary.
2. Resistance. Acephate at 3 oz. per acre has become less effective in spray tests. Rotate to Radiant if another spray is required or use a higher rate.
3. Species composition. Tobacco thrips are most common in VA, but western flower thrips can co-infest. Acephate is less effective on this species. Rotate to Radiant if another spray is required.
As always, call/text/email me with any questions. Good luck and happy planting!
If you intend to apply Engenia, Xtendimax, or FeXapan this year, you need to complete the annual dicamba specific training requirement in addition to being a certified pesticide applicator. In Virginia, this training is conducted by the registrants (manufacturers), but can also be completed in another state including registrant training, state mandated training, and state approved training. Both in person and online training is acceptable. Training is not product specific; you do not have to take the training from the registrant of the product you apply.
Make sure to document your training.
Here are links to find a training event near you or complete online:
University of Nebraska
Please note that some some events require pre-registration.
The following links are under revision for 2019 but will be useful shortly:
Mississippi State Extension
Tarnished plant bugs have continued to be a problem in flowering cotton in some Virginia cotton fields. This week, scouts found 10 out of 30 fields above the bloom threshold of 2-3 plant bugs per drop cloth sample across Virginia’s cotton-growing region. Six of these fields averaged above the bloom threshold for the past two weeks (see map below). Dirty blooms may indicate plant bugs are present but should not be used as a threshold for spray decisions. Cracking bolls and observing internal boll injury in small dime and quarter-sized bolls is also a great indicator bugs may be present and causing significant damage. Internal boll injury includes raised warts or outgrowth on the carpel wall, small black punctures that usually match an external lesion, and stained lint. We recommend observing at least 25 bolls per field for internal injury in addition to drop cloth sampling to make informed spray decisions. Plant bug populations have peaked in mid-August over the past few years in Virginia so we recommend continued scouting during the coming weeks. Check out this video if you would like to see a short tutorial on drop cloth sampling.
Plant bug density averaged over two weeks from 24 July to 02 August 2018.
Plant bug internal boll injury symptoms.
Plant bug nymph feeding on a dirty bloom.
Statewide, approximately 18% of ears were infested with corn earworm larvae. Corn is considered a nursery crop for corn earworm, allowing the pest to complete a lifecycle and then move on to other crops such as soybean, cotton, and peanut in August. There is a linear correlation between the infestation level in corn and the amount of soybean acreage that gets treated with insecticide for this pest. Please see the attached pdf for more details: CEW_survey_results_2018
Tarnished plant bugs continue to be a problem in some Virginia cotton fields. This week, scouts found 14 of 32 fields over the pre-bloom threshold (8 per 100 sweeps) and increasing numbers of nymphs. Drop cloth sampling is recommended for blooming cotton and counting squares is no longer a good indication of feeding. Threshold is 2-3 bugs per sample. Check out this short video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRnZhLczZJ0) if you have questions on how to use this method or are unsure of what nymphs look like. Dirty blooms indicate feeding, but active populations should be confirmed before a spray is made.
As cotton begins to bloom, neonicotinoids (e.g., Admire Pro, Centric, Belay) lose efficacy and I recommend rotating to a pyrethroid, a pyrethroid/acephate mix, or Bidrin. These products will also control stink bugs if present. Transform is not labeled in Virginia, but our representative in Richmond is working hard to get us a Section 18 and I hope to have one in place by next year at the latest. All of these products will kill beneficial predators in your field. This is a concern as we near bollworm egg lay in cotton.
I encourage you to treat for insect pests only when thresholds are reached. Plant bug control will likely be needed through mid-August when populations peak, even in fields that have been previously sprayed. Spider mites, aphids, and bollworm (in two-gene cotton) risk increases with each broad-spectrum insecticide use, as does the risk for sprayer fatigue.
Special thanks to graduate student Seth Dorman and crew for their continued scouting efforts.
A summary of field crop disease and nematode management trials from 2017 is now available. Results for applied research on wheat, corn, cotton, peanut, and soybean can be downloaded below.
The Peanut-Cotton Infonet is up and running for the 2018 growing season. As in previous years, the website will provide:
- Maximum, minimum, and average air temperatures
- Average soil temperature at a 4 inch depth
- Daily and accumulated (from May 1) peanut heat units
- Daily and accumulated (from May 1) cotton degree-days
- Daily and total seasonal (from May 1) rainfall
- Last effective spray date for peanut leaf spot
- Sclerotinia blight risk
- Frost advisory (from September 25th to completion of harvest)
The web address has changed slightly and the website can be found here.
Soil temperatures in southeastern Virginia have been cool over the past couple of weeks (average less than 60 °F), and cool, wet conditions in some fields will favor seedling diseases in early planted crops. A warming trend over the next week will hopefully result in more favorable planting conditions towards the beginning of May.
For questions or concerns regarding the Peanut-Cotton Infonet throughout the growing season, contact Dr. Hillary Mehl (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Earlier this week I posted links to BASF’s online dicamba training module. Here is another online training option from Monsanto. Again, Michael and myself encourage applicators to attend face-to-face trainings, but know that extenuating circumstance exist. You can access the training at the link below.
As always, feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.
BASF’s dicamba training module is now live! To access the training visit engeniastewardship.com and click on the training tab.
This online training module satisfies the US EPA requirement for mandatory dicamba training. It should be utilized as an alternative training opportunity for individuals who are unable to attend in-person trainings. BASF and Virginia Cooperative Extension strongly encourages in person training because it offers opportunities for dialogue and questions. Individuals can request in person trainings on engeniastewardship.com.
This online training module will NOT fulfill the Engenia® herbicide label requirement for training in the following states:
- Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and North Carolina: state university / extension training only
- Kentucky and Louisiana: in-person training only
- Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma: Currently in-person training only