Dr. David Kerns and I have been receiving more phone calls regarding spider mites in cotton. Mite problems are exacerbated by hot, dry weather and applications of broad-spectrum insecticides for early season pests. With little or no rainfall in many parts of the state, mite populations can increase rapidly.
Do not wait for spider mite treatments in early cotton if populations are found scattered throughout the field or if mites are moving in from field borders. When making applications, correct nozzles and high water volumes are essential for adequate coverage and application rates should reflect mite severity. Pyrethroid and acephate applications should be saved, if possible, to avoid flaring mite populations.
Acaricide application rates should be adjusted for population severity with higher rates used for more severe infestations; however, producers and consultants have been getting good results with abamectin at 6 oz/acre. Rates below 6 oz/ac are not recommended. Zeal has provided excellent control of mites in our region, but be aware that only 1.0 oz/acre of Zeal miticide can be applied per cropping season. Therefore it may be best to save your Zeal application for more critical situations.
If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact Dr. David Kerns or Sebe Brown for more information.
Dr. David Kerns Cell: 318-439-4844 Office: 318-435-2157
Sebe Brown Cell: 318-498-1283 Office: 318-435-2903