Wet weather brings epidemic of weeds, bugs

Wet weather brings epidemic of weeds, bugs

Cotton, corn growers alerted to infestations of Tarnished Plantbugs and Stinkbugs; wet weather, plentiful weeds to blame

Lots of rain in May and again in July brings more than just a full moisture profile. It also brings a bumper crop of weeds. And as growers are rapidly discovering, bugs.

Gene Latham, manager of the Southern Kansas Cotton Growers Association, reports finding Tarnished Plantbugs in disturbing numbers in fields he was looking at. He contacted Rex Friesen, the Coop's crop consultant and Friesen put out an immediate alert to warn cotton growers to check for Tarnished Plantbugs as well as Stinkbugs and Fleahoppers.

LATEST PEST: The Tarnished Plantbug is showing up in "troubling" numbers in south central Kansas cotton fields. The pest also attacks corn, so growers are being urged to scout.

"What this means to you is that if you were planning on treating for Fleahoppers, you might consider upping the rate of your preferred treatment to at least cover the TPB also," Friesen advised growers.

The application rate to treat stinkbugs is higher than TPB treatment. For TPB, Friesen recommends Dimethoate at 6 to 8 ounces per acre along with Acephate 90 at 6 to 8 ounces per acre to control TPB. For stinkbugs, he recommends Acephate 90 at 8 to 10 ounches per acre. Dimethoate is not labeled for stinkbugs.

Friesen said Dimethoate will behave like a fumigant, killing whatever is out there at the moment. He advises against using in during the heat of the day because it fumes off very quickly and could be dangerous to the applicator or anyone else nearby.

Acephate 90 also kills live bugs but has residual control for several days.

Pyrethroids also offer residual control. Friesen urges using label rates for targeted pests. However, he notes that green stinkbugs are resistant to pyrethroids while brown ones are not. Dimethoate is less toxic to beneficial arthropods such as spiders, ladybugs and lacewing larvae.

Friesen said that dimethoate and acephate both have very strong odors and advises that growers who have homes near or beside the field might want to consider using pyrethroids instead.

The bountiful population of bugs this year is the result of a lot of rain combined with a lot of weeds, Friesen said. The weeds serve as alternate hosts where insects can breed.

Friesen said that both TPB and Stinkbugs like corn as well as cotton and urges growers to keep a close eye on their corn fields as well.

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