Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tarnished Plant Bugs

High numbers of adult tarnished plant bugs have been reported by two consultants in the Talladega county area this week. In both cases the fieldmen found the plant bugs before square retention began dropping. Numbers as high as 21 adults per 100 row feet were recorded. This is far in excess of what I would consider threshold. Some might question if they should wait until square retention drops before applying controls. I would suggest for controls to be applied immediately since this generation of bugs will not only feed, causing square loss, in the next week—they will also deposit eggs in the plant tissue that will result in a July in-field generation.

A few growers have expressed concern about conserving beneficials but one advantage of having Bollgard II and WideStrike genetics is that you can react to plant bugs when they reach damaging levels. We do not have an insecticide that will kill tarnished plant bugs and conserve beneficials. Any chemical choice that is selective on beneficials would also be selective on plant bugs.