Alabama Cotton: Grasshoppers, Thrips Still Active

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Grasshoppers Still Around

Grasshoppers are still prevalent and are being found in high numbers in the state. We are largely dealing with adults, which are more difficult to control. If controls are needed, acephate (e.g., Orthene) at 0.6-0.75 lbs. per A is the recommended strategy.

A couple of plugs, we posted a grasshopper article on the ACES website and we also made a short video (below) with Mr. Eddie McGriff discussing grasshoppers.

One thing to consider is that cotton is at the greatest risk of damage during the crook stage. With this in mind, we cannot wait for a grasshopper spray to coincide with a thrips application. Cotton stands are mostly beyond the risk of grasshopper damage by the first true leaf stage (when thrips sprays are most effective).

Also, remember that grasshoppers are quite mobile. Applications behind the planter may not be as effective, as planters move relatively slow through the field. Applications should be made with sprayers which move faster through the field and with a wider swath.

Finally, grasshoppers will likely be distributed throughout the field. Some insects can be managed with border sprays but grasshoppers are likely not one of them.

Thrips Update

Thrips calls have been fewer than grasshoppers so far this year, but we need to scout for injury to avoid delays in maturity. When scouting for thrips injury, look at the youngest true leaves in terminal of the plant for the characteristic crinkling or distortion of leaves.

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Keep in mind that leaves are damaged when they are still furled, and symptoms become obvious as the leaves grow. In other words, the benefits of a thrips spray will not be observed until 7 days later when new leaves appear. Leaves damaged prior to an application will remain on the plant, which is why we recommend looking at the developing leaves in the terminal.

The first true leaf stage is often the best time to make an application. In most circumstances, cotton is through the thrips window by the 4-5th true leaf stage, but under intense pressure thrips can continue injuring the crop past this stage. Several options are available to control thrips can be found in the Alabama Cotton IPM Guide.

Utilize the CottonTIP model to stay up-to-date on the risk of thrips injury for cotton planted in your area. We posted an article on how to use the CottonTIP on the ACES website and made a short video with Mr. Eddie McGriff on thrips management.

Contact Ron Smith or Scott Graham for more information.




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