What tools will cotton producers use to fight insects in the coming year and beyond? Do those tools signal a different approach to insect control in the post-eradication era? And what will be the role of the consultant after boll weevil eradication?

In a recent talk at Cotton Incorporated's Crop Management Seminar in Memphis, Auburn University entomologist Ron Smith provided his perspective on where things might be headed.

For example, he believes that new chemistries will be target-insect specific, have less residual than pyrethroids, but could be more effective.

Smith says that following boll weevil eradication, fewer sprays with phosphate-type chemistry will be necessary, therefore more opportunity for the true bugs (tarnished plant bugs, fleahoppers, stink bugs, etc. to emerge.

This group of true bugs will likely present the greatest fruit loss potential in the Mid-South post eradication.

On the other hand, there will continue to be a role for some of the older insecticides, especially the phosphates, since they are economical and highly effective on the plant bugs and stink bugs. This will be their primary fit.

Due to low spray environments and changes in tillage practice in certain areas, many new pest species will appear sporadically in the system.

Examples include white fringe beetle larvae, cutworms, three-cornered alfalfa hoppers, snails and slugs, grasshoppers, false chinch bugs, salt marsh caterpillars, leaf-footed bugs and negro bugs.

Consultants and field men must be able to scout for multiple pests in each field or management unit and understand their economic importance.

Smith also provided an update on the registration status of several insecticide tools and their impact on pest management practices. The chemical name is in parentheses.

- Knack (pyriproxyfen) - An insect growth regulator (IGR) which is effective on the silver leaf and sweet potato whitefly at 8 to 10 fluid ounces per acre. Knack is very toxic to whitefly eggs. Only one application per season permitted. Has full Section 3 registration. Parent company is Valent.

- Applaud (buprofezin) - Active against the nymphal stage of whiteflies and will give several weeks of residual control. Used under a Section 18 permit in California and Arizona. Only one application per season is permitted. Registration package is being reviewed by EPA. Could expect registration in late 2001 for 2002 season. Parent company is Aventis.

- Intrepid (methoxyfenozide) - Best activity on the armyworm complex and loopers (beet armyworm (BAW), fall armyworm (FAW), cabbage looper (CL) soybean looper (SL)). Has good residual on BAW, but weak on budworms and bollworms. Received full registration in October, 2000.

- Confirm, Mimic (tebufenozide) - IGR is a good BAW and FAW material on pastures turf and forages. Labeled for cotton on BAW, FAW. Parent company is Rohm and Haas.

- Tracer, Spintor (spinosad) - Has excellent activity on budworms, including those resistant to pyrethroids. Selective on most beneficial species. Effective at lower than 2 ounces per acre in pre-bloom cotton. Has up to seven-day residual, but may not be as rainfast as Denim or Steward. Has registration on most row crops (soybeans, corn, sorghum). Parent company is Dow Agrosciences.

- Leverage (imidacloprid and cyfluthrin) - Has activity on plant bugs, aphids, bollworms and stink bugs. Economical if both pyrethroid and aphid control is needed. Not as selective on beneficials as Provado alone. Parent company is Bayer.

- Regent (phenylpyrazole) - Looks like this product will likely never be labeled for cotton. Active on chewing and sucking pests. Has activity on fleas and termites and will be marketed as a termiticide and in the veterinarian market. Registered and sold on corn for corn rootworm. Parent company is Aventis.

- Fulfill (pymetrozine) - Anti-feeding compound for sucking pests such as aphids. Paralyzes mouth parts so insects starve to death. Slow knock-down, difficult to evaluate in field. Will not be available until after 2001. Will be a tool for use in resistance management of aphids. Parent company is Novartis.

- Assail (acetamiprid) - Has excellent activity on sucking pests, including aphids and whiteflies. Has bollworm and tobacco budworm activity. Will have an Emergency Use Permit in 2001, but do not expect registration until late 2001. Parent company is Aventis.

- Adage (thiamethoxam) - Seed treatment is comparable to Temik for thrips control in most university research tests. Is systemic in soil. Can be used as seed treatment, in-furrow, or foliar sprays (Centric). Wide spectrum of activity (thrips, aphids, whiteflies, plant bugs and stink bugs). 2001 period will be used as a test period (short supply). Parent company is Novartis.

- Steward (indoxacarb) - Has good-to-excellent activity on bollworm, BAW, FAW and SL. Has some suppression activity on plant bugs. Residual of about seven days. May have slightly slower activity than Tracer and Denim. Registration in fall of 2000. Parent company, Dupont.

- Denim, Proclaim, Strategy (emamectin benzoate) - Has activity on bollworm, tobacco budworm, BAW, FAW, SL. Works faster than Tracer or Steward but has shorter residual. Larvae undergo paralysis, stop feeding but mortality may take several days. Had Section 18 registration in 2000. Expect label in late 2001, but may have to use Section 18s again for use season. Parent company, Novartis (Merck).

- S-1812 (chemical class, pyridine) - Good activity on bollworm, tobacco budworm, BAW, FAW, SL. Registration at least two years away. Parent company, Valent.

- Pirate (chlorfenopyr) - Registration package withdrawn from EPA by parent company in 2000. EPA concerns were bird and fish toxicity. Parent company, American Cyanamid.

- Bollgard II - (contains two Bt genes, Cry 2 Ac and Cry 1 Ac (the gene in original Bollgard. Bollgard II is more toxic to armyworm species. Will have broader worm spectrum than original Bollgard (includes BAW, FAW and SL). Some studies indicate improved bollworm control with Bollgard II. Should have EPA approval in late 2001. Limited sales in 2002, but no stacked gene (RR).