Monday, March 14, 2011

Cotton Insect Management, 2011

Points for Discussion: 
1. Low Input System - Conventional vs. Technology 
2. Evolution of Bt Cotton - Various Genes Involved 
How do they compare and what is in the future? 
3. Phase Out of Temik 
What will be the greatest impact? 
4. Stink Bug Research Towards a More Rapid Survey Technique 
Factors that influence external vs. internal stink bug boll damage. 
5. New Damaging Insects 
Plataspid (Kudzu) Bug 
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug 
Red-Banded Stink Bug
Phase out of Temik:

“EPA and Bayer CropScience, the manufacturer, have reached an agreement to end use of the pesticide aldicarb in the United States.” EPA release October 2010
Remaining uses: During the phase-out, aldicarb use may continue on cotton and peanuts with use-rate reductions and rural well setbacks.  
  • Registered in 1970
  • Production ends by December 31st, 2014
  • Distribution and sales end by December 31st, 2016
  • Use ends by August 31st, 2018

 Impact in cotton production: 
  • early season insects
  • nematodes
  • **suppression of spider mites

 Update and Comments on Temik Phase-Out:  
A two-week temporary restraining order affecting the production of a key intermediate used in the production of Temik brand aldicarb was issued February 10 by a federal judge in West Virginia. This order was issued in response to a lawsuit brought about by 16 residents who reside near the production plant. This restraining order was later extended until March 28. Bottom line is the supply of Temik for the 2011 season will be limited.

The point I wish to focus on today is the long term impact of the loss of Temik in cotton insect management. We all recognized the role Temik played in early season insect control, particularly thrips. However, in recent years we have learned how to better utilize seed treatments, supplemented with foliar sprays as needed. 
In addition, growers who continued to utilize Temik were often also benefiting from its nematicideal properties. The loss of Temik will leave a major void in nematode management.

Today, I would like to comment on another benefit of Temik – that being spider mite suppression. In the long haul this may be the most significant loss or impact from the phase out of Temik.

As I have commented to growers in our winter production meetings, there is one advantage of being old and that is you have “seen more history”. In my case I can remember what a major problem spider mites were on cotton in the 1950’s and 60’s. I have seen entire fields in the Tennessee Valley region of Alabama completely defoliated prior to maturity due to spider mite damage. No effective foliar controls were available. Beginning about 1970, when Temik entered the market, spider mites became a relative insignificant pest of cotton for about 30 plus years. Beginning with the movement to seed treatments, mites have become a significant player again. Not in all fields or all years. However, when conditions are conducive, mites can be very economic again. Newer products are now available for foliar control but they do not give extended suppression and most are relatively expensive on a per acre basis. I am not sure that we have anything today that has the mite suppression activity of Temik. Therefore, in the long run, the loss of Temik may leave its greatest impact on mite control. Time will tell.