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Termination of Insecticide Applications for Tarnished Plant Bug (Hemiptera: Miridae) Management in Cotton
Whitney Crow, Jeff Gore, Angus L. Catchot, Donald R. Cook, Scott D. Stewart, Nick J. Seiter, Glenn Studebaker, Gus Lorenz, David Kerns, Sebe Brown, Moneen M. Jones, Fred Musser, and Tyler Towles
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Tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois), is the most important insect pest of cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., in the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Missouri. Foliar insecticide sprays are an important tactic within an integrated pest management (IPM) program for this pest which occurs from early flower bud development to cut out, a stage where the plant has reached the capacity for supporting fruiting positions and equivalent to when there are five nodes above the uppermost first position white flower (NAWF 5). Currently, NAWF and heat unit accumulation monitoring is limited, resulting in a need for a more simplified insecticide termination method that has the potential for wider adoption. Experiments were conducted in 2015 and 2016 in the previously mentioned states to determine when to terminate insecticide sprays for tarnished plant bug based on week of flowering. Treatments included terminating sprays after the second through sixth weeks of flowering, a season-long control, and an untreated control. In general, insecticides reduced densities of tarnished plant bugs in the sprayed treatments. When analyzed by location, treatments that resulted in cotton yields similar to the season-long control ranged from weeks two through five of flowering. These data suggest that treatments can be terminated after the fifth week of flowering. Data from this study indicate applications terminated after the fifth week of flowering would be similar to the current recommended termination timing of NAWF 5 plus 350 heat units. Results from this experiment will be used to better define a simplified IPM strategy for tarnished plant bug in cotton.