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Events

  1. Texas: Swisher County Cotton Field Tour, Kress, Sept. 29

    September 29 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  2. Georgia: Pesticide Waste Clean Day, Cordele, Sept. 30

    September 30 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  3. Texas: Bailey County Cotton Dield Day, Maple, Oct. 5

    October 5 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  4. Missouri: Farm Estate Planning Workshops, Warrensburg, Oct. 6, 13, 20

    October 6 @ 8:00 am - October 20 @ 5:00 pm
  5. Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School, Ocean City, Oct. 15-17

    October 15 @ 8:00 am - October 17 @ 5:00 pm
  6. Georgia: Peanut Bank Week, Oct. 17-21

    October 17 @ 8:00 am - October 21 @ 5:00 pm
  7. Alabama: Pesticide Applicator University, Opelika, Oct. 26-27

    October 26 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  8. Alabama – Corn-Soybean College, Guntersville, November 2

    November 2 @ 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  9. California: Advanced Precision Farming Coursed Offered Online, Nov. 14 – Dec. 16

    November 14 @ 8:00 am - December 16 @ 5:00 pm
  10. Arkansas Soil, Water Education Conference and Expo, Jonesboro, Jan. 25

    November 25 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  11. California Almond Conference, Sacramento, Dec. 6-8

    December 6 @ 8:00 am - December 8 @ 5:00 pm
  12. Kentucky: 2016 Early Bird Meetings, Dec. 6-8

    December 6 @ 8:00 am - December 8 @ 5:00 pm

Florida: Western Flower Thrips Develop Insecticide Resistance

Ernst Undesser
By Joe Funderburk, University of Florida May 9, 2014

The western flower thrips and thrips-vectored Tomato spotted wilt virus are key pest threats to Florida’s multi-billion dollar fruit and vegetable industry. Attempts to control the western flower thrips with broad-spectrum insecticides, applied on a routine calendar schedule actually elevates its pest status.

Western flower thrips have now developed resistance to most traditional insecticides, including the IPM-compatible spinosyns. Spinosyn insecticides include SpinTor, Radiant, and Entrust (organic label). As a result, producers are experiencing unacceptable losses from pest damage and ineffective pesticide applications.

Western flower thrips populations are regularly monitored for resistance in different crops and regions of Florida. The first record of resistance occurred in Palm Beach County in 2008. An educational program to enhance adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) was begun, and the use of spinosyn insecticides was temporarily suspended in Palm Beach and Broward Counties.

 

More recently, resistant western flower thrips populations that are resistant to spinosyns were detected in Hillsborough County. Populations in North Florida have remained susceptible, although a single resistant population was detected last year.

Preserving the use of the spinosyns against the western flower thrips is a high priority because:

  1. No insecticide has provided the high level of control;
  2. It conserves populations of the key thrips predator, the minute pirate bugs;
  3. It has a reduced-risk status;
  4. It has a broad-spectrum of activity against other important pests.

A resistance management protocol that is a good foundation for a sound IPM program includes the following components: positive identification of target pests, applying insecticides only when required, making accurate and precise insecticide applications, diversifying the types of management methods used in the crop, and conserving natural enemies.

In efforts to sustain the effectiveness of spinosyns in Florida, no more than two applications should be made on the same and sequential crops per year.  Be sure to understand spinosyn susceptibility in your growing area, and if new recommendations exist to optimize thrips management and spinosyn susceptibility.

Ernst Undesser
By Joe Funderburk, University of Florida May 9, 2014