​​Managing Thrips in Seedling Cotton with Starter Fertilizer and a Single Foliar Application

March 2013 | 16 min.
by Michael D. Toews
University of Georgia

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Summary

​Studies were conducted in the southeastern United States to investigate optimal practices for mitigating thrips injury to seedling cotton. Thrips are the most consistent insect pest of cotton production and the loss of aldicarb from the marketplace is driving the need for alternative treatments. In a comparison of foliar insecticides, there were fewer thrips immatures observed in plots treated with Benevia (cyazypyr), Radiant SC (spinetoram), or Orthene 97 (acephate); conversely, little thrips suppression was observed in plots treated with Karate with Zeon Technology (lambda-cyhalothrin). Results show that the optimal timing of foliar applications was at 90% first true leaf bud. Finally, there was a clear benefit to using starter fertilizer when planting early on conventionally tilled soils under irrigation. Generally speaking, thrips should be considered an early season plant stress that can be masked by plant compensation, but managing thrips will provide a healthier plant that is better able to withstand later stresses such as drought, plant pathogens, nematodes, or herbicide injury.

About the Presenter

Michael D. ToewsMichael D. Toews received a BS from Fort Hays State University (Hays, Kansas) followed by an MS and PhD from Oklahoma State University. He joined the University of Georgia in 2006 as a research entomologist with responsibilities in applied insect ecology and pest management. Dr. Toews also handles Extension responsibilities for stored product entomology and is a Co-Director at the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. The 2015 Southeastern Branch recipient of the ESA Award for Excellence in Integrated Pest Management, he has served on sixteen graduate student committees (7 as major professor), secured $4.9 million dollars in competitive grant funding, published more than 50 research papers and holds a patent issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Contact Information:
Email: mtoews@uga.edu

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