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- The heat and lack of rainfall knocked about three or four weeks off the Alabama 2010 cotton production season.
- That cut three or four weeks from the insect year.
- Cotton insects were lighter than normal in Alabama.
Growers need to remember that whenever temperatures reach 98 to 100 degrees, pyrethroids do not work on bollworms on cotton, says Smith. Also, bollworms are showing high levels of resistance to pyrethroids in Lousiana.
“We’ve had that problem before, and eventually the problem will grow and spread. When we lose the pyrethroids to the bollworm species, it’ll really knock a hole in our arsenal. We’ve counted on those for about 25 years now. Also, the bifenthrin type of pyrethroids is leaving some bollworms behind. We’ve had a number of control failures for three years now, and we’re evaluating those this year.”
Turning to soybeans, Smith says that the red-banded stink bug is a potential problem on the crop in Alabama. “This is the first year we’ve found it in Alabama, and I found it at our Gulf Coast experiment station. They’re not hard to control, but they can build in tremendous numbers and cause significant damage. They will destroy your peanut crop in a short period of time. You can control them, but they have a tendency to rebound in 10 to 14 days. They’re 10 times more damaging than regular stink bugs in soybeans. They are sensitive to winter kill, so they might never be a problem in the extreme northern part of the state.”