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Alabama Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Center

On-Farm Evaluation of New Nematacide Seed Treatments for Cotton in Alabama

Reniform and root-knot nematodes significantly reduce cotton yields and sometimes fiber quality which hurts profitability of Central Alabama Cotton Farmers. Growers under dire economic conditions are searching for the most economic, environmentally safe and operational\method to lessen profitability loss from nematodes in cotton.

With a multi-county survey performed in 1999, cotton root knot and reniform nematodes have been identified to infect as much as 97% of the cotton fields in Elmore County and near 40% in Autauga County, Alabama. Nematodes, at damaging and severe levels, have been recognized as a major limiting factor, and have been proven to be more widespread, and infect all cotton growing areas in Alabama. Ten cotton nematacide trials over five years in Autauga and Elmore Counties, have shown an average +97 (-30 to +357) more pounds of lint cotton from the established nematacide Temik, compared to an untreated check. The ease, convenience, safety, and environmental benefits of the nematacide seed treatments are most attractive and are being adopted by cotton farmers with limited research on their effectiveness. Syngenta‘s new nematacide seed treatment Avicta, was labeled and sold in 2006 & 2007. Bayer’s new nematacide seed treatment Aeris, was commercially launched for the 2007 crop.

Evaluation of IPM tactics including reduced pesticides. These new cottonseed treatments contain a nematacide, seedling insecticide, and fungicide. These are promising alternatatives to less environmental and safety friendly pesticides applied in-furrow and/or by pressurized gas.

Education and training of growers and other stakeholders. Results from the four Central Alabama replicated on-farm nematode trials in 2007 showed that the seed applied nematacide Aeris and Avicta provided more yield and profitability to these growers. The four trial average showed the Avicta treated seed provided a +90 lbs and the Aeris a +77 lb lint cotton/acre yield advantage while the traditional in-furrow nematacide Temik proved only a +6 lbs/acre lint cotton yield advantage over the untreated non nematacide check treatment. This data was presented at two Central Alabama Cotton Production meetings in 2008.

The local on-farm cotton nematode trials instantly provides a lot of creditability as they were performed by the farmer himself or his neighbor under commercial operational conditions. The results of these trials will have farmers incorporating these more environmentally friendly nematacide treatment with their 2008 plantings. With a grant from the Alabama IPM minigrants program these trials will be continued in 2008 to confirm efficacy of the seed nematacide treatments.

Improving the Cost/Benefit Ratio of IPM

For More Information, Contact:
Leonard Kuykendall
Regional Extension Agent for Agronomic Crops
2226 Hwy. 14 W. St. E
Autaugaville,Al. 36003

Email: kuykelk@auburn.edu


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