Investigation of reflective particle films and cultural practices for disruption of host finding behaviors and management of thrips infesting cotton and peanut
Knight, Ian Alexander
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Thrips are significant agronomic pests in the southeast US, infesting both vegetables and row crops such as peanut and seedling cotton. Feeding damage to seedling cotton can result in stunted growth and reduced plant stand, while transmission of Tomato spotted wilt virus in peanut can result in reduced yield and plant stand. The objectives of this research were to examine how tillage practice, neonicotinoid seed treatment and application of reflective particle films influenced thrips infestations, seedling plant damage, disease transmission, and yield. The use of strip tillage into rye residues always reduced thrips infestations compared with conventional tillage. Strip tillage decreased cotton lint yield, but increased peanut yield. Conversely, thiamethoxam seed treatments decreased thrips counts in cotton, but did not affect lint yield while only marginally decreasing thrips in peanut. Neither kaolin nor calcium carbonate particle films were effective at reducing weekly thrips counts in cotton or peanut.