When insect outbreaks challenge crops, cotton growers must fight to maximize output from every acre. Insect infestations can quickly affect cotton quality and shrink profits, so growers must be prepared to monitor and control potential threats to achieve consistent yield output year after year.
Growers are often caught off guard by the timing of rising insect populations that can damage crop marketability and rob yields. University researchers and extension specialists are good sources for reporting significant trap counts in most areas. Frequent, effective scouting and being prepared to control insects can make the difference between harvesting a crippled crop and having a banner year.
The Life Cycle of Cotton Bollworm
The potential for cotton pests to have a big year is an ever-present threat. In its larval stage, this pest feeds on cotton terminals, squares and blooms, hampering growth, hurting quality and opening the door for secondary infections caused by mycotoxins and bacteria.
Adult female cotton bollworms can lay 450 to 3,000 eggs in a two-week life span and hatched larvae feed for 14 to 21 days. Due to this enormous feeding potential, cotton fields should be scouted frequently from seedling to harvest for preventive management of insects.
High Cost of Infestation
Yield and quality loss can be easily mitigated with a timely application of insect control products as part of an integrated pest management (IPM) solution, and new options are available, says Lars Swanson, portfolio manager, DuPont™ Crop Protection.
“Growers looking for a long-lasting solution to a wide variety of cotton pests can now use DuPont™ Prevathon® insect control powered by DuPont™ Rynaxypyr®, to get the job done effectively.”
In addition to cotton bollworm, the breakthrough worm control provided by Prevathon® delivers excellent protection against beet armyworm, fall armyworm, saltmarsh caterpillar, southern armyworm, tobacco budworm, western yellowstriped armyworm, cabbage looper and soybean looper.**
“A single Prevathon® application can protect crops from costly insect damage for as long as 21 days on treated foliage,” adds Swanson. “When you consider the marketability and yield lost to a pest like cotton bollworm, the return on investment for one Prevathon® application is well worth it.”
Cotton growers will also benefit from increased flexibility when using Prevathon®, says Dan Sherrod, product development manager, DuPont™ Crop Protection. Field trials have demonstrated that Prevathon® provides outstanding worm control in conventional cotton crops even under heavy pest pressure, resulting in quality crops that yield greater value at market.
IPM at Work
While these unrelenting pest pressures can dishearten growers already beleaguered by unpredictable weather conditions, IPM practices that incorporate products including Prevathon® can help overcome the challenge.
Prevathon® provides highly effective, long-lasting residual activity for fewer seasonal applications, controlling the most challenging pests with an excellent environmental profile. Replacing the multiple spray applications required by other insecticide programs with Prevathon® enhances grower profitability and is an important part of an effective IPM program.
“These pests can rapidly devastate an entire field,” adds Sherrod. “One of the benefits of Prevathon® is its ability to stop pest feeding almost immediately after they feed on treated parts of the plant. Its unique mode of action ends the damage quickly, so crops are protected.”
*This information is not intended as a substitute for the product label. Always read and follow all label directions and precautions when using any pesticide alone or in tank-mix combinations.
**Suppression only for soybean looper