As peanuts have become more a part of the crop mix for many Mississippi farmers, research on insect control has been increasing in order to provide growers more information about the impact of various pests, says Jeff Gore.

“I started doing peanut research about five years ago, and this has become a pretty important part of my program,” he said at the annual meeting of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation’s peanut policy committee.

Gore, who is associate Extension/research professor at the Delta Research and Extension Center at Stoneville, says this has included projects funded the last couple of years by the Peanut Promotion Board and Mississippi Peanut Growers Association, as well as contract research to evaluate products for chemical companies.

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His work has included evaluation of the impact of thrips damage and a potential issue of resistance to Cruiser, which has been widely used across the peanut belt.

“One recommendation from a lot of my research is to use an at-planting insecticide,” Gore says. Among options are in-furrow granular materials such as Thimet 20G and Lorsban 15G (also used T-banded or broadcast); Admire Pro and Orthene, which can be sprayed in-furrow; and CruiserMaxx seed treatment.

“In 2013, we started seeing less than adequate control of thrips with Cruiser, primarily in cotton,” he says. “Syngenta reported detecting tolerance to Cruiser’s active ingredient in preliminary tests of populations from Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. This is a bigger issue with cotton than peanuts, but I get a lot of questions from growers as to whether they should switch away from Cruiser in peanuts.”

In a 2013 test, he says, with “really heavy pressure” from thrips — from 300 to 500 insects on five plants — after 17 days from planting “the Cruiser treatment was starting to break down in terms of thrips densities, and the Thimet treatment was holding well. The Cruiser-treated peanuts, with 300 thrips on five plants, started looking pretty bad.”

But surprisingly, Gore says, “When we harvested this trial, both of the Cruiser treatments yielded better than the Thimet. There was a pretty big difference.”