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Carbine prepares deadly dinner for sucking pests

With Carbine-treated cotton leaves on the menu for sucking insects like aphids and plant bugs, one thing is certain. Lunchtime is not likely to be a five-star experience. In fact, the deadly dinner is likely to be the last one they ever have.

According to FMC, within 30 minutes of ingestion, insects lose the ability to feed. “Plant bugs and other target pests exposed to Carbine can no longer insert the stylus into plant tissue,” said Jimel Ortega, FMC's product manager for Carbine.

Once feeding stops, these insects no longer cause harm to the crop and quickly starve. The reduction in feeding leads to greater square retention and thus higher yields, according to Ortega.

In 2006, the company planted 48 demonstration plots from Texas to Tennessee, to provide another year of data on Carbine's efficacy, yield benefit and impact on beneficials. Data is yet to come in from the field. Infestations have been light for the most part, and many applications did not go out until post bloom, late July and August.

According to Rusty Mitchell, Delta technical support manager for FMC, previous trials have shown yield increases of 30 pounds to 40 pounds over standard treatments. The product is labeled for both plant bugs and aphids.

Another advantage of the product is that it offers cotton producers another tool to manage resistance.

It is from a new class of chemistry called pyridinecarboxamide that has a different mode of action from the neonicotinoid, organophosphate and pyrethroid insecticides commonly used against plant bugs and aphids.

According to FMC, Carbine is virtually non-toxic to beneficial insects and mites. The preservation of beneficial insects could perhaps help growers save an early spray, according to FMC. Today, many growers are spraying multiple times per year for plant bugs.

Once the target pest is exposed to Carbine, the active ingredient, flonicamid, quickly moves into the insect and blocks the potassium channel of the insect's nervous system.

This causes an uncontrolled release of neurotransmitters resulting in loss of nervous system control.

The inability to feed is irreversible, meaning insects that feed on Carbine literally starve to death.

The product also features a low use rate, 1.7 to 2.8 ounces per acre to control tarnished plant bug, western plant bug and cotton fleahopper and 1.4 to 2.8 ounces for aphids.

FMC recommends that growers begin applications as populations reach economic guidelines.

The low rate can be used early-season for low pest densities or when tank-mixing with other products registered for target insect control.

Use the high rate for large pest populations, dense foliage and longer residual.

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