Seed-applied insecticides have evolved rapidly since the first one debuted in 1995, and cotton growers are ever-eager to try the latest offerings as soon as they become available.

The 2007 crop season was no exception, with many growers opting to use Aeris insecticide/nematicide seed treatment during its inaugural season.

Aeris offers the broadest spectrum of protection of any currently available seed treatments. This protection helps cotton seedlings get off to a healthier start by promoting vigorous root systems and early season growth.

Growers and consultants who used Aeris in 2007 said their first experience with the product was a good one. Rogersville, Ala., grower Mark Thornton said the protection from Aeris was apparent early on.

“In the past, we have seen visual signs of nematodes by the second week of June,” he said. “But the crop was more uniform this year and grew off better the whole year. The biggest difference was that we didn't have a variation of heights throughout the field.”

Thornton invested in cotton varieties such as ST 4554B2RF and ST 5242B2RF equipped with the latest transgenic traits, and high yield and fiber quality potential.

To protect his investment, he planted more than 650 acres with Aeris to protect against several pests, including thrips, aphids and reniform nematodes.

“We know reniform nematodes can cause significant damage during the first few weeks, and we know we need to treat with something,” Thornton said.

Thornton also included Trilex Advanced Seed-Applied System in his seed treatment package. Trilex Advanced is a premium fungicide seed treatment that growers can pair with Aeris to control the most damaging cotton diseases, including pythium, rhizoctonia and Thielaviopsis spp.

Chip Graham, senior technical development specialist for Bayer CropScience, spent most of last spring and summer traveling across the Cotton Belt to view Aeris-treated cotton in university trials and grower fields. He said he is very pleased with the results he saw this year.

“Aeris has performed consistently in all locations,” he said. “In particular, we saw very good activity on early season thrips and aphids. Also, Aeris did very well against both root-knot and reniform nematodes.”

Graham said he observed favorable root gall ratings and early season seedling vigor ratings when scouting fields that were treated with Aeris.

For more information about Aeris and Trilex Advanced, contact your local Bayer CropScience sales representative or visit www.CottonExperts.com.