Friday, April 13, 2012

Immature Grasshoppers in Winter Cover Wheat

Cotton planting is underway in a significant way in some south Alabama counties. A question was received today from that area about what to do with the grasshoppers in winter cover wheat that is currently being burned down prior to planting cotton. Immature grasshoppers are present at thousands per acre in the wheat. My recommendation would be to control these grasshoppers at the same time wheat is being burned down or prior to the time the cotton begins to emerge. They pose a significant risk to stands if allowed to remain in fields. Based on our research of several years ago, immature grasshoppers can be easily controlled with a low-to-mid range rate of most any insecticide labeled for cotton. The pyrethroids do an excellent job and are very economical. Adding 1 oz. of Dimilin per acre to the mix would provide residual control of immatures for weeks down the road. Since we are still early in the spring, there could be some additional migration into fields from hedgerows and field borders. The problem with waiting until later to make an application is eventually these immature grasshoppers will become adults, which is much more difficult to control.