Thrips are already a problem with the vegetable acreage and the cotton crop in Walton County. Even with seed inoculated before planting or in-furrow insecticide applications, plants are still at risk. The preventative treatments are taken up by the plant as it germinates and provides some protection during early stages of growth.
Supplemental foliar sprays may be needed if two-to-three thrips can be found on each plant and immature thrips are present. This suggests the insecticide is no longer effective.
If insecticides were not applied at planting, multiple foliar applications may now be needed. In reduced tillage systems thrip numbers are generally lower than conventionally tilled systems. Cotton planted in April and early May is more likely to have thrip damage than cotton planted later.
Yields can be substantially reduced from thrip infestations. Homes County vegetable acreage has already been hard hit by thrips this year. Scouting cotton is a must in 2012. Submitted by Mindy Hittle-McNair, Walton County Agricultural Extension Agent