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Monday, June 20, 2016

Please Report Unexpected Insect Damage to Cotton, Corn and Sorghum

Dr. Pat Porter covered a very important topic on the Focus on Entomology blog that i will be sharing here too.  Thanks Pat!


Please Report Unexpected Insect Damage to Cotton, Corn and Sorghum

It has been 20 years since Bt corn and cotton were put on the market, and we are now seeing signs that some of the Cry toxins in Bt crops are less effective than they once were. It is certain that fall armyworm is resistant to Cry1F in parts of the country (but not known to be resistant on the High Plains), and corn earworm/cotton bollworm is showing elevated levels of tolerance to several of the toxins in Bt cotton and corn. I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not suggesting we have resistance on the High Plains, but, given what is happening elsewhere in the country, I am saying that it would be prudent to begin watching our fields for elevated levels of damage from fall armyworm, corn earworm/cotton bollworm, southwestern corn borer and western bean cutworm. (This also goes for corn rootworm that is known to be resistant to at least one toxin in Bt corn.)

On top of this we have the old world bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, knocking on the southern door of the U.S.A., and it may bring with it resistance to some Bt toxins. This species is indistinguishable from our domestic corn earworm/cotton bollworm, except by dissection of the adults. The Texas A&M University Department of Entomology and the AgriLife Extension Service have rapid sampling teams ready to collect from fields that might have H. armigera

This post is a request for growers and consultants to report any signs of higher than normal damage to  corn and cotton regardless of whether they have Bt or not, but especially if they have Bt. We can visit a field and determine whether the damage is within the bounds of "normal" and, if not, we can collect insects for resistance and/or H. armigera screening. My office phone number is (806) 746-6101. Pat Porter.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Thrips in Cotton Scouting Video

Thrips Scouting, 2016

                It is that time of year to be scouting our cotton for thrips.  It has been a rough start to our area cotton and we spent the better part of last week making decisions regarding the strength of cotton fields and if they had strong enough stands to be profitable or if the chilling injury, seedling disease, and wireworms had taken too much of a toll.  Now the fields we have kept, despite being a little light in the plants per acre category, are really taking advantage of the hot, dry weather.  Although set back from May and early June weather, rapid progress is now being made.  And then… here come the thrips with the potential, if at an economic level, to set our young and finally growing cotton back even farther.  That is something we do not need stay on top of right now.
                To help combat the possible and/or likely thrips issue in the area, we have cut a video to help guide through the process of scouting for thrips in West Texas Cotton.  If you are interested in making use of this yourself, please follow this link:
                A big thanks to Dr. Pat Porter, D2 Entomologist, for shooting and editing the video and Adam Kesheimer, Plains Pest Management Field Scout, for helping out during the filming.
Happy scouting!
Blayne Reed