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Critique of Need for Automatic Early Spring Insecticide Applications for Suppression Program Against Boll Weevil in Lower Rio Grande Valley

Dan A. Wolfenbarger


There is no need for two automatic applications of insecticides in the spring against boll weevil populations when pinhead squares first develop in each field in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) of Texas, USA and Tamaulipas, Mexico. These applications are not needed in a LRGV wide suppression program because there are none or <1/field weevils present on any given day in the 8,000 to 20,000 fields (20 to 40 acres/field) of cotton when pinhead squares first develop. This assumes that the philosophy of cotton production is to plant each field as early as possible and harvest as early as possible. I do not know of any data indicating that there are >1 weevil/field present during the non-fruiting or pinhead square development of the few dominate plants which are present. There may be >1 weevil present on any given day after planting, but these populations are moving about the LRGV. Most of the weevils alive in September and October will die before planting in February-March the next year because they are old and/or they will be exposed to inclement weather. Death is not due to lack of food or water in this subtropical area. The two automatic sprays should be replaced with an "action" involving the use of grandlure from October of one year to February of the next year to reduce the over-wintering population of this insect. Since spring ends June 21 one or two applications are needed in mid June in the LRGV wide suppression program.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1998 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pp. 1345 - 1347
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998