Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Thrips on Cotton

Posted by romeethredge on May 29, 2013

Did you know that even one thrips is still a thrips not a thrip? It keeps an S on it even in the singular. Did you also know that thrips like the weather conditions we’ve been having? They are as bad as I’ve seen them. Cotton is really getting hammered by them now. It’s not a problem to find numerous thrips on any plant in lots of our fields. The cooler weather we had earlier contributed to slow plant growth and good thrips development.

They cause damage to the growing point of the cotton plant and need to be controlled if an average of 2 or more are found per plant and you are seeing immatures. Sometimes if only the dark adults with wings are found then you could be just having a tremendous influx, flying in. Our at-plant or seed treatments work through the plant so the thrips must feed on the plant to be controlled.  If they are reproducing in the field we know we have a problem. The young thrips are lighter colored and don’t have wings. You have to look very closely  as they are very small and feed in the folded up very new plant growth. I usually slap the plant onto my hand or a folded sheet of paper or an ice tray. Thrips can kill cotton if left unattended. Irrigation will sometimes help the situation. If we can get cotton to the 4th true leaf stage we rarely have to treat it.

Page 28 of the UGA Cotton production Guide has lots of good thrips info from Dr. Phillip Roberts, UGA Extension Entomologist.http://www.ugacotton.com/vault/productionguide/2013CottonProductionGuide.pdf_DSC6519

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