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Insect Pests on Seedling Cotton

Barry L. Freeman


Numerous insects are capable of damaging seedling cotton, but of these, the thrips complex is the most important and the most consistent insect problem. In addition, thrips control forms the basis of seedling insect management programs. Several species of thrips attack every cotton field every year. Uncontrolled, they reduce stands, retard maturity and lower yields. By far, thrips pressure is consistent enough to warrant preventative control. Numerous methods and products are available for control of thrips. In-furrow granular systemic insecticides applied at planting are the most common method of control. Other types of control include in-furrow liquid insecticide applications, seed treatments, hopper box treatments and foliar sprays. Under certain circumstances, all of these methods can be useful. There are many complicating factors involved in designing a thrips control program, e.g.;1) high mammalian toxicity of some products, 2) ease of application, 3) nematicidal and acaracidal properties, 4) phytotoxicity concerns, 5) safening qualities for some herbicides, 6) cost, 7) water solubility, 8) growth regulant properties, 9) relative efficacy, 10) length of control. 11) effects on beneficial organisms, etc. Efficient thrips control is essential t profitable cotton production. The multiple methods and products available to accomplish this allow seedling insect management strategies to be individually fashioned to meet virtually every producer's needs.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1996 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pg. 241
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998