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  • Southern IPM blog posts

    June 2021
    M T W T F S S
  • Funded by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture

    The Southern Region IPM Center is located at North Carolina State University, 1730 Varsity Drive, Suite 110, Raleigh, NC 27606, and is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
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The war on the boll weevil

by Dominic Reisig, NC State University

In NC State University News

The boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis) is not much to look at – just a grayish, little beetle with an impressively long snout. But this particular beetle, and its hunger for cotton, was powerful enough to forge an unprecedented partnership between farmers, legislators and scientists. And that partnership showed how much can be accomplished when scientists and farmers work together.

What adult boll weevils lack in size they make up for with their larvae’s ability to feed on and destroy cotton. Boll weevils entered the U.S. from Mexico in the late 1800s, when they were first spotted in Texas. By the 1920s they had spread through all of the major cotton-producing areas in the country. The scope of the damage was breathtaking, as were the control efforts thrown at this insect: at one time, one-third of the insecticide used in the U.S. was used to combat boll weevils. Continue reading

Boll weevil eradication still working in Mississippi

In Delta Farm Press

It was, said Farrell Boyd, “the same good news I’ve brought you the past seven years — no boll weevils in Mississippi. Not a single one. I’m pleased as I can be that we’re now in our eighth year of a totally boll weevil-free Mississippi.”

Boyd, who’s manager of the Mississippi Boll Weevil Management Corporation passed on the news to producers and industry leaders at the organization’s annual joint meeting with the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation’s Cotton Policy Committee. Continue reading

Brazil battles the boll weevil

In Delta Farm Press

If you need a refresher course on the destructive power of the boll weevil — the pest that cost U.S. growers billions of dollars in treatment costs and lost yield over many decades — you have only to go to Brazil, says Angus Catchot, a Mississippi State University Extension professor of entomology.

He and Darrin Dodds, associate Extension/research professor of plant and soil sciences at MSU, took a group of research students to the World Cotton Research Conference in the South American country, and spent a few days in the field looking at cotton and other crops. Continue reading

Integrated pest management can reduce grower cost

This feature article, appearing on June 15 in Delta Farm Press, provides some of the best reasons that growers should practice the techniques of integrated pest management: scouting their fields, measuring their soil nutrition, and waiting to use chemical intervention until it’s warranted. Spoken by an Extension professional who came from the crop consulting field, the message summarizes what the Regional Centers and state IPM Coordinators stand for. Continue reading

Aerial photos can locate boll weevils in regrowth cotton

In ARS News

By Dennis O’Brien

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in College Station, Texas, have found a way to use digital images taken in aerial surveys to identify regrowth cotton that may be harboring boll weevils.

Cotton growers in Texas’ Lower Rio Grande Valley often mow down their cotton plants after harvest and may spray plant stalks with herbicides to prevent boll weevils from taking refuge in regrowth cotton. But the Valley is subtropical, and heavy autumn rains often prevent growers from taking those measures, making cotton plants more likely to regrow and create year-round boll weevil habitats. This “regrowth cotton” is often spread over large areas, making detection difficult. Continue reading

North Carolina boll weevil assessment remains at $1 per acre

In Southeast Farm Press

The board of the Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation of North Carolina has set the 2015 boll weevil assessment at $1 per acre of cotton, keeping the fee the same as in 2014.

The fee supports the foundation’s efforts to monitor cotton acreage in North Carolina for any re-introduction of the boll weevil and to respond promptly with eradication treatments if necessary.

Continue reading

Does cold weather reduce insect populations?

In previous years, rumor has been that the warm winters meant that insects would be rampant in summer. So this year, when much of the east coast has been colder than usual, can we look forward to crops being “bugged” less? University of Tennessee IPM Coordinator Scott Stewart says that it depends on the species.

Read his blog post.

BWEP, GMO improve farm efficiency, significant challenges remain

In Southwest Farm Press

The success of the Boll Weevil Eradication program has resulted in a $2.3 billion advantage for the Texas cotton industry. And, combined with widespread adoption of transgenic crops, the eradication program allowed farmers to significantly reduce the number of pesticide applications they make and to increase yields by some 30 percent.

Continue reading

Experts: Challenges, opportunities ahead for Texas agriculture

Agriculture has made big strides in the Lone Star State the past 25 years, though there are still challenges and opportunities ahead in producing enough food and fiber for Texans and the U.S., according to experts at the 25th Texas Plant Protection Association conference held recently in Bryan.

Continue reading

Timing continues to be a key ingredient in cotton insect control

From Delta Farm Press

For years, the boll weevil was public enemy No. 1 for Tennessee cotton farmers. The boll weevil is gone thanks to the hard work of cotton growers and research scientists. But the malathion sprays that took out the boll weevil and plant bugs are gone as well, creating an environment where plant bugs have become a major problem. The University of Tennessee’s Sandy Steckel talked about the current efforts to control the latter during a stop on the Cotton Tour at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center.

Continue reading