The mid-season report card is excellent for Syngenta's newly-registered Centric 25WG foliar insecticide for cotton. Available from Texas eastward, with clearance expected soon in Arizona, Centric controls aphids, tarnished plant bugs, thrips, fleahoppers and whiteflies.

“Performance, if anything, has been above expectations,” says Steve White, Syngenta's senior technical manager for insecticides. “We've been real pleased with acceptance by growers and consultants. They've given Centric a lot of support.”

A systemic material, Centric's active ingredient, thiamethoxam, rapidly moves into plant tissue but is then slowly metabolized for long-lasting protection. The insecticide tends to move upward in the plant, into growing leaves, rather than downward into the roots.

Current labeled use rate is 3 ounces per acre. According to the label, aerial applicators must apply it in 5 gallons of water per acre. Syngenta hopes to reduce that to 2 gallons of water per acre for the 2002 season, which should cut application cost $2 per acre.

Centric had a Section 18 emergency use label for 300,000 acres of cotton in Mississippi last year, allowing many Mid-South growers to see it in action.

“We used it to control whiteflies and it showed excellent control under really heavy pressure. What impressed me most was the length of control. Just one application was needed. Centric will fit a niche that's very much needed in our cotton acres,” says Billy Bryant, Greenwood, Miss., consultant.

“It worked very well against aphids and whiteflies and had good activity against tarnished plant bugs. It gave long residual control of about three weeks with just one application. Centric mixes very well and is easy to apply. We had no problems with clogged spray nozzles,” says Joe Townsend, Coahoma, Miss.

“We used Centric mid-season on more than 800 acres of Bt cotton that had pretty severe whitefly populations and moderate plant bug numbers. Four days after application we found 95 percent to 100 percent whitefly control. Plus, I got two weeks of residual control. Centric has excellent control, even on resistant aphid and whiteflies that flare after malathion sprays,” says Bubba Tollison, Ruleville, Miss.

Syngenta is now recommending that Centric not be tank-mixed with Pix Ultra. “That tank-mix inhibits some of Centric's activity. Pix Ultra has a surfactant that slows movement of Centric into the plant. Growers should avoid that tank-mix combination,” Steve White says.

Other tank-mixes should work fine, however. Any product with a penetrating surfactant should be okay to use with Centric

Thiamethoxam is also now cleared for use on other crops. As Actara 25WG, it may be used on vegetables and pome fruit. As Platinum 2SC, it can be used as a soil-applied product on potatoes, cucurbits and fruiting vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers.