Sorghum: Blackhawk Insecticide Treats Sorghum Midge, Other Lepidopteran Pests

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After a challenging year in 2015, sorghum growers are adopting Blackhawk insecticide as the primary offensive weapon in their 2016 pest control arsenal. Blackhawk has proven to provide quick knockdown and effective, consistent control of a wide array of lepidopteran pests including corn earworm, fall armyworm and sorghum webworm. It also provides effective control against the dipteran sorghum midge pest.

“Fast knockdown and flexibility,” says Will Price, independent crop consultant from Oakland, Mississippi, when asked why he recommends Blackhawk insecticide. “Blackhawk does a really good job controlling most lepidoptera species and headworm complex. It’s also a real advantage not having the concern of flaring sugarcane aphids with Blackhawk like we have experienced with most other products.

“The additional benefit for growers is that Blackhawk is effective in midge control for later-emerging sorghum heads,” Price says. “It’s the type of efficacy that could keep us from having to come back later with another product just to clean up later-emerging sorghum heads in the field.”

Billy Bryant, independent crop consultant from Greenwood, Mississippi, shares similar experiences with growers using Blackhawk in his northeast Mississippi territory.

“What I like about using Blackhawk is that we can spray for midge and not flare other pests, including the sugarcane aphid,” Bryant says. “I can save those beneficials. Plus, by the time we spray for midge the sorghum is already headed out and we’re seeing an early infestation of headworms. Using Blackhawk, we get upwards of 10 days of control on the headworms so there’s a lot of value added to that product because I can control both of those pests.”

Results of an independent study, conducted by Dr. Gus Lorenz, Extension entomologist with the University of Arkansas, underscore the fast knockdown and control efficacy of Blackhawk insecticide.

The active ingredient in Blackhawk, Spinosad, works very quickly to knock down and effectively control yield-robbing sorghum pests. Results from trials conducted by Lorenz show Blackhawk controlled more than 95% of lepidopteran pests (versus untreated) within 3 days after application. (See chart)Displaying Displaying Displaying Displaying

Besiege is a federally Restricted Use Pesticide

The additional bonus with Blackhawk is that it’s equally effective at controlling sorghum midge.

Keeping control of resistance, too
With increasing resistance to pyrethroids, the unique mode of action in Blackhawk provides growers with an effective alternative to help them minimize insecticide resistance concerns.

“The flexible application window of Blackhawk is especially useful for treating fall armyworm,” says Kevin Sheaffer, insecticide products manager with Dow AgroSciences. “Armyworm often infests grain sorghum well in advance of sorghum head emergence. Growers should be aware, however, that treatment will only be effective on emerged heads that have come in contact with spray.”

The flexible application window allows sorghum growers to apply Blackhawk insecticide from early season through grain production, up to 21 days before harvest.

Blackhawk can be tank-mixed with other products – including adjuvants – with good compatibility. Blackhawk has minimal impact on beneficial insects and does not flare secondary pests, including sugarcane aphid.

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