Location: Southern Insect Management ResearchTitle: Frequency and abundance of selected early season insect pests of cotton
Submitted to: Journal of Integrated Pest Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/16/2018
Publication Date: 6/15/2018
Citation: Allen, K.C., Luttrell, R.G., Sappington, T.W., Hesler, L.S., Papiernik, S.K. 2018. Frequency and abundance of selected early season insect pests of cotton. Journal of Integrated Pest Management. 9(1):20;-1-11. https://doi.org/10.1093/jipm/pmy010.
Interpretive Summary: The use of insecticides to control early-season pests of cotton has been a common practice for at least several decades. Historically, applications of insecticide were delivered in-furrow with the seed at the time of planting. This insecticide delivery method has largely changed to one where the insecticide is coated on the seed. Since 2012, more than 90% of U.S. cotton is planted with insecticide treated seed. The main target of these in-furrow or seed treatments is several species of thrips. Other early-season insect pests which are targeted include: aphids, cutworms, wireworms, and plant bugs. Although these are the main targets, early-season insect control decisions can have impacts on the abundance of later-season pest and beneficial insect species that inhabit a cotton field. Previously published literature of these early-season insect pests was compiled to examine factors favoring their abundance in cotton and the importance of insect control tactics at planting. The importance of some of these pests is dependent on the cotton growing region of the U.S. and by production practices in an area.
Technical Abstract: The use of insecticides at planting has been a common crop management practice in cotton for several decades. Historically, U.S. cotton growers relied on in-furrow applications of insecticides, such as aldicarb, to control early season insect pests. In-furrow applications have largely been replaced with insecticide-treated seed. Since 2012, more than 60% of the U.S. cotton crop is planted with seed treated with insecticide, primarily the neonicotinoids imidacloprid or thiamethoxam. Several insects or insect groups are included on the labels of these neonicotinoids for use as seed treatments. An increased understanding of the risks associated with economically injurious populations of insect pests is needed to optimize use of early season insecticides and reduce over-reliance on them in cotton, especially when initial decisions for insect control before planting have subsequent influence on future pest abundance. Existing literature pertaining to these early-season cotton insect pests was examined to identify factors favoring their distribution and abundance and the importance of insect control tactics used at planting. The relative importance of some of these pests is dependent on the cotton growing region and impacted by local production practices. Thrips (predominantly Frankliniella spp.) are the most prevalent early season insect group in cotton across the U.S. and the primary target of initial insect control. Other targeted insects include the black cutworm (Agrotis ipsilon (Hufnagel)), aphids (predominantly Aphis gossypii Glover), plant bugs, and wireworms.