Cottonseed Treatment in Addition to Chemical Control of Sporadic Pests for the Small Scale Farmer
Mar 21, 2019
Cottonseed treatment trials over two to three seasons showed that phorate and terbufos have potential as seed dressings to protect young cotton plants against pests. Bio-assays indicated that germinating cotton plants are capable of absorbing and transporting sufficient insecticide to produce satisfactory mortality in pests such as Syagrus rugifrons Baly the black cotton beetle, and other ground insects, e.g. crickets, that damage cotton seedlings. The black cotton beetle is a pest on cotton seedlings and ratoon cotton on the Springbok Flats in the Northern Province. Soil treatment and seed treatment with terbufos effectively prevented root damage early in the season, while follow-up applications of monocrotophos or abamectin in combination with endosulfan (Thioflo), controlled plant damage above the soil. Endosulfan in combination with profenofos and carbaryl resulted in significant yield increases. Monocrotophos simultaneously controls the American bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera Hübner), the main pest of cotton. Monocrotophos also shows potential to control the cotton stem weevil, Apion soleatum Wagner (Apionidae: Coleoptera), a relatively new pest in the lowveld areas of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, where many small-scale farmers produce cotton. An integrated pest management programme that includes seed treatment and limited use of insecticides that control a number of pest species at the same time, is suggested for small-scale farmers.