A mild winter and early season indicators forecast a heavy-insect-pressure year in the Mid-South, which means this is not the year to delay treatment or use an untested pest control option hoping for an unlikely come-from-behind victory.
Instead, bet on a top-ranked contender: choose Transform® WG insecticide to control tarnished plant bug and other cotton pests.
“It's important to jump out early and strong with a good rate of Transform because you never want to get behind when chasing plant bugs,” says Steve Frost, Corteva Agriscience territory manager in North Louisiana. “There's no time to play catch-up with something less expensive and not as effective as Transform.”
Cotton growers may have to treat tarnished plant bug populations multiple times per season in high-pressure situations and, in tough economic conditions, choosing the low-cost option or eliminating a spray can seem like a good way to cut input costs. “Doing so will often cost you more in the long-run,” Frost says, who warns of the potential cotton squares and bolls lost to plant bug feeding if not controlled.
Frost recommends a rate of 1.5 to 2 ounces per acre of Transform for tarnished plant bug control, opting for the higher rate in areas where cotton is surrounded by corn.
“Corn is a fabulous host for plant bugs. Corn is an excellent green host plant for tarnished plant bug, and they thrive there. When corn starts to dry down, that lush green habitat is lost, and that's when they will really fog out of there and into nearby cotton fields,” Frost says.
In high-pressure situations, Frost has found success with back-to-back applications of Transform.
We get an extra three to five days of residual on the tail end, which often can eliminate one application, saving money and keeping nymph and adult numbers below threshold levels,” he says. “A back-to-back spray seven to 10 days apart, when tarnished plant bug threshold is reached or exceeded, carries us a long way down the road and keeps our plant bug numbers low when pressure is high.”
After two consecutive applications of Transform® WG insecticide, follow the label and rotate to another insecticide. No more than four applications of Transform can be made in a cotton growing season.
Tarnished plant bug control often begins at or near cotton bloom. Instead of treating with Transform at first bloom, Eddy Cates, an independent crop consultant in Marion, Arkansas, has moved that application earlier in the season. His first recommended application of Transform, at a rate of 1.75 to 2 ounces per acre, is normally made the second to third week of squaring.
"We've found that moving Transform earlier in our rotation keeps plant bugs from blowing up and overwhelming the cotton crop,” Cates says. “When tarnished plant bug nymphs start hatching out, we'll hit them with back-to-back applications of Transform.
“Transform has become one of the most important parts of our plant bug program due to the quick knockdown and long-lasting residual it provides. We also get the additional benefit of aphid control.”
As the season progresses, Cates recommends rotating modes of action for resistance management. “Because we often have very high tarnished plant bug pressure, we spray an average of five times per season trying to keep populations at low levels,” he says.
Visit TransformWG.Corteva.US to learn more about how back-to-back applications of Transform can knock out tarnished plant bug populations on your farm.
TM ® Trademarks of Dow AgroSciences, DuPont or Pioneer, and their affiliated companies or their respective owners. Isoclast is a registered active ingredient. Transform WG is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Always read and follow label directions. © 2020 Corteva. CA14-396-029 (07/20) BR CAAG0TFRM057