Thrips Are Punishing Cotton

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Thrips have walloped our cotton over the past two weeks, moving in late compared to “average” years. From conversations with county agents, growers and consultants, it seems that many fields treated with Admire Pro in-furrow and an insecticidal seed treatment, are experiencing fewer problems than those treated with a seed treatment alone. However, some of these fields have still required an additional foliar overspray. I cannot urge scouting cotton for the presence of adult and larval thrips enough. The simple presence of “thrips injury” can be attributed to herbicide carryover, spray failures (Western flower thrips or problems with the spray application itself), or adult thrips moving in after sprays, which have little residual. Dry conditions favor Western flower thrips and are not conducive to cotton growth. Favorable weather for plant growth over thrips development includes warm temperatures and adequate moisture. Our goal is to get the cotton to the five leaf stage, at which point it can easily outgrow anything from thrips. Please reference previous articles here and here for tactics to deal with foliar spray situations.