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Management of insect pests of cotton

Posted by Sanjeeva Reddy on

     Cotton insects

Cotton is one of the most important commercial crops of India. Cotton crop is infested with different kinds of insects in the production cycle. Jassids, thrips, aphids and whiteflies are among sucking pests and bollworm (American and spotted) and spodoptera caterpillars which attack on leaves and bolls.

     American boll worm American boll worm1

American bollworms can cause upto 40 -50 % crop losses in severe incidences. The high resistance in American bollworms towards the insecticides is/was challenging and scientific research have developed transgenic cotton hybrids popularly known as Bt Cotton.

     Bt Cotton

Bt cotton hybrids have excellent control of American boll worm and insecticides may not be required to use on cotton crop to control this boll worm.

Insect pests of Cotton

  1. American boll worm (Helicoverpa armigera):

     American boll worm on cotton.

The larvae of boll worms will feed on the inside contents of bolls making holes and larva’s head will be inside and body be outside. The feacal pellets will be seen on the bolls. Each larva of American boll worm can damage up to 30 – 40 bolls. Minimum infestation of this Helicoverpa armigera or American boll worm is noticed on transgenic Bt Cotton varieties.

      Transgenic Bt Cotton

  1. Pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella Saunders):

      Pink Boll worm in cotton

Pink boll worm feeding behavior is similar to American bollworm infestation. When the pink boll worm attacks the flowers making them irregular shape more or less like rose flowers usually called the rosette. Worms feeds inside the bolls, seed kernels and the entry holes will be covered with their fecal matter. Boll dropping is noticed due to the pink bollworm attack.

      Pink boll worm management

  1. Tobacco caterpillar (Spodoptera litura Fab.)

       Tobacco caterpillars on cotton crop

Spodoptera litura moths will lay eggs on the young plants, larvae hatch out consume the epidermal layer of the leaves leaving the leaves mesh like. Severe infestations may also lead to total defoliation.

      Tobacco caterpillars on cotton crop flowers

Recently another species of Spodoptera, the army worm Spodoptera frugiperda have become a very serious insect which may also infest on young cotton plants cutting the germinated cotton plants.

  1. Spotted bollworm (Earias insulana and Earias vitella Fab.)

        Spotted boll worm in cotton

Spotted boll worm larvae directly feeds on the cotton squares, flowers, bolls and sometimes on the shoots. Spotted boll worms can damage the cotton plant branches in vegetative phase causing the terminal shoot drying and dying. When these boll worms attack on the bolls holes are formed and they get rotten.

The boll worm complex other than the American boll worm may be controlled by using the following chemicals with proper usage methodologies.

Sl.No.

Technical Name

Trade names

1

Emamectin Benzoate

Proclaim, Star claim, EM-1, Rilon, Emagold, Bioclaim .,, etc

2

Spinosad

Tracer, Spintor

3

Profenofos + Cypermethrin

Roket, Profex super, Polytrin

4

Chlorpyriphos + Cypermethrin

Hamla, Koranda, Durmet, Predator..

5

Novaluron + Indoxacarb

Plethora, Rimon..

6

Chlorantraniliprole

Coragen, Ampligo.

7

Flubendiamide

Fame, Fluton, Belt expert, Takumi,

8

Bacillus thurengiensis

Delfin

 

     Management of boll worms complex on Cotton

 

  1. Jassids (Amrasca biguttula)

     Jassids on cotton

Cotton plants are also infested by jassids in the leaves making them pale coloured by sucking sap, leaves turn downward and plants grow very slow. the leaves turn downwards and colour of the plant turns pale.  

     Jassids on cotton

In case of severe infestations marginal chlorosis of the leaves is noticed.

 6. Cottonaphid (Aphis gossypii)

     Aphids on Cotton

Aphids also infest on cotton crop. The young growing tips die, leaves will shrink and may bend backwards.

    Sooty mould on cotton due to aphids

The gum like honey dew is noticed on the infested branches and leaves later Black sooty mould is formed due to the excretion from the fungi after consuming the honey dew excreted by aphids.

 7. Thrips (Thrips tabaci) of Cotton.

    Trhips attack on cotton plants

Thrips are another sucking insect type which suck the sap of the young cotton leaves, the leaves turn yellowish to pale green.

   Trhips attack on cotton leaves

The younger leaves turn upward with reduced size and severe infestations may make the leaf edges turn brownish burnt like.

8. Red cotton bug: Dysdercus cingulatusi

Red cotton bug adults and older nymphs feed on the emerging bolls and later they may also attack on the cotton seeds.

   Red cotton bugs on cotton

Bugs may also transmit cotton fibre staining fungi or bacteria which reduces the quality of the cotton fibre. The lints turn red, bolls may rot turning black.

The molecule listed below may be used in the management of above pests

Sl.No.

Technical Name

Trade names

1

Acephate

Hunk, Asataf, Lancer gold,

2

Imidacloprid

Confidor,

3

Neem oil 10000 ppm & 50000 PPM

Econeem plus

4

Fipronil

Regent,

4

Spinosad

Tracer, Spintor

5

Thiomethaxom

Actara, Caper, Maxima

6

Tolfenpyrad

Keefun

 

   Management of sucking pestgs on cotton crop

  1. Whitefly: Bemisia tabaci

   Whiteflies on Cotton crop

Cotton crop is also infested by whitefly and they attack the young plants, sucks the juice and like aphids simultaneously excretes the honey dew on the leaves and there will be development of sooty mould which leads to reduced photosynthesis as the leaves will be covered with black mould.

   Whiteflies attack on cotton

Many viral infections can be transmitted by whiteflies from plant to plant and fields to fields.

Management of Whiteflies

Sl.No.

Technical Name

Trade names

1

Acetamipride 20 % SP

Ekka, Prime, Prime gold

2

Spirotetramat + Imidacloprid

Movento Energy

3

Neem oil 1 %& 5%

Econeem plus, Ecotin

4

Acepahte + Buprfezin

Odis

4

Inscalis

Sefina

5

Diafenthuran

Billion

6

Pymetrozine 50 %

Chess

 

   Management of whiteflies on Cotton

  1. Mealy bugs: Phenacoccussp, Ferrisa sp and  Maconellicoccus sp 

Mealy bugs are also common sucking pests in cotton crop. Mealy bugs are found in clusters under surface of the leaves with waxy secretion.

   Mealy bugs in cotton

Sooty mould is also noticed in the plants with mealy bug infested plants. Plants become weak and yields will be reduced if not managed.

   Mealy bugs in cotton crop

Management of Mealy bugs in cotton:

Sl.No.

Technical Name

Trade names

1

Dimethoate

Tafgor

2

Spirotetramat + Imidacloprid

Movento Energy

3

Pymetrozine 50 %

Chess

4

Thiomethaxom

Actara, Caper, Maxima

5

Profenofos + Cypermethrin

Roket, Polytrin

 

    Management of mealy bugs on Cotton

  • Weeds are always the alternate hosts and proper sanitation, weed free farms will have minimum infestations.
  • Continuously monitor the incidence and early detection will help to manage effectively
  • Use of Encyrtid parasitoids, Acerophagus papayae @ 100 per village against Paracoccus marginatus and Aenasius bambawaeli against Phenococcus solenopsis are recommended.

 11. Mite pest on cotton

   Mites attack in Cotton crop.

Red Spider Mite: Tetranychus Cinnabarinus (Tetranychide acarira), Yellow Mite / Broad Mite: Polyphagotarsonemus latus (Tarsonemidal acarina) and Wolly Mite : Aceria gossypii  are three types of mites which usually infest cotton crop. The mites attack cotton plants at early stages of crop growth normally found under surface of the leaves sucking the sap.

    Mites attack in Cotton crop

Many times the mites produce web and they tend to live inside the web. The leaves show the chlorotic patches on the leaves where the mite infestation is noticed.

Management of mites in cotton

Sl.No.

Technical Name

Trade names

1

Abamectin

Abacin

2

Spiromesifen

Oberon

3

Plant extract

Royal clear mite

4

Propargite

Omite

5

Fenazaquin

Magister

6

Fenpyroximate

Pyromite

 

   Management of mites complex on Cotton

              

              ****

K SANJEEVA REDDY,

Senior Agronomist, BigHaat. 

For more information kindly call on 8050797979 or give missed call on 180030002434 during office hours 10 AM to 5 PM

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Disclaimer: The performance of the product (s) is subject to usage as per manufacturer guidelines. Read enclosed leaflet of the product(s) carefully before use. The use of this product(s)/ information is at the discretion of user.

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