Entomologist Series With Roy Parker: Texas Cotton

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Thrips, aphids and cotton fleahoppers are expected to find their way back in many fields during the 2013 growing season. Many cotton producers could experience higher returns when they prepare themselves for specific pests. Dr. Roy Parker, Entomologist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, discussed the major pests to be aware of during a recent interview.RoyParker.png

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Question: What are the early-season pests to be aware of and how would you recommend controlling them?

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RP: Growers should be aware of thrips and aphids early in the season. Seed treatments provide the best control. In fact, we don’t gain a whole lot by overspraying if we have a seed treatment out there. Growers could also begin scouting for thrips and aphids very early in the season.

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Question: Are there other early-season pests to be aware of and how would you recommend controlling them?

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RP: Cotton fleahopper is another early season pest and is not difficult to control. Growers can experience higher returns if they choose to manage the cotton fleahopper in favorable production years. The insect is present every year, but depending on the weather, can be more damaging in some years than others. We should protect fruit from the insect each year, but if we are dry the plant can’t hold that fruit and we don’t often see an advantage with control under those circumstances. Growers can use Centric®, Belay®, Orthene®, Bidrin®, Couraze®, or Intruder®. Timing of application is critical from squaring through the first week of bloom.

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Insect pests could greatly reduce yield potential, but with a proper plan, cotton producers could achieve maximum yield potential. In addition to insect pests, fungicide seed treatment products can protect seedlings against disease causing organisms. Learn about Acceleron® Seed Treatment Products for more information on seed treatment products.

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