Project Summaries

02-222CA  Project Manager: P. F. O'Leary


Larry D. Godfrey and Treana Pierce, University of California

Insect and mite pests continue to challenge cotton production in the San Joaquin Valley. While 2012 was an extremely "easy" year for management of arthropod pests in SJV cotton, there is no guarantee that will be the trend in 2013 and beyond. Insecticides and miticides are important tools for cotton production in the SJV as part of an integrated management program. Biological control and cultural controls, along with the critical regulatory actions to keep pests out of the state, combine to form the backbone of IPM programs. This multi-faceted IPM approach is important for maintaining an efficient, stable system and for protecting profitability. New active ingredients are developed to facilitate IPM programs and it is important to evaluate these new products under California conditions. Regulatory actions involving pesticides are ongoing and appear inevitable in California. At the federal level, restrictions continue on older classes of chemistry, i.e., carbamates, organophosphates, and others. Most recently, endosulfan , Dibrom®, MSR®, and aldicarb (Temik®) have been affected. At the state level, the regulations have been due to air quality (volatile organic compounds [VOCs]) and water quality concerns. The developing regulations dealing with honey bees will likely impact insecticide availability and use patterns. Through this research, I strive to provide an unbiased evaluation of the applicability of experimental materials to SJV cotton before they appear on the market.

In 2012, populations of western flower thrips, spider mites, and lygus bugs were high and subjects of research efforts. No studies were done on cotton aphids due to plot space limitations although aphids were evaluated as a secondary pest in the lygus management study. Against western flower thrips, the experimental products HGW86 (cyazypyr) and Torac showed promise with the former product performing very well. Radiant is the registered standard and both the 3 and 6 oz. rates showed good thrips control. The thrips infestation was fairly short-lived in 2012 so this lessened the need for residual control and could have made the low rates "appear" most effective. The pyrethroid products, Warrior and Leverage, provided no to low thrips control. Orthene foliar was fairly effective but the Orthene seed treatment showed very poor performance against thrips. The registered standards, Carbine, Vydate, and Belay generally performed well for lygus bug management. Transform, nearing registration, showed good lygus control although there were a few cases where the efficacy was less than desired. Diamond, registered on cotton but not widely used in the SJV, showed better performance than in previous tests. Combining it with Carbine and/or Vydate clearly enhanced the performance (Vydate alone was also quite effective). For beneficials, even the best product reduced beneficial populations by at least 50%. The pyrethroid products were most damaging to populations and Belay also had fairly significant effects on populations of beneficials. Transform and Carbine were generally fairly easy on beneficials but again there were cases where some impacts were seen. For secondary pests, every treatment increased levels of spider mites compared with the untreated (the plot had not been previously for spider mites); the highest numbers were seen with Carbine, Assail + Lambda-Cy, Transform (2.25 oz.), and Assail and these were not necessarily the most damaging treatments to populations of beneficials. Lygus bug resistance levels were monitored for six insecticides (different classes of chemistry) from three locations in the SJV and two parts of the growing season. Finally, a late-season acaricide efficacy test showed ~60% mite control was the greatest level achieved (with Agri-Mek). The other 13 treatments of registered standards and two experimental materials provided a lower level of control.


Project Year: 2012

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