Thrips attacking cotton and peanuts - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thrips attacking cotton and peanuts

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THOMAS COUNTY, GA (WALB) -

A South Georgia grower can never really relax, because the next weather, disease, or pest issue is always right around the corner.

This week the insect thrip has become quite active on South Georgia cotton and peanuts.

And while peanuts can handle quite a bit of thrip damage, cotton can not.

While many folks have enjoyed the cooler and dryer late spring conditions, south Georgia cotton and peanut farmers have not.

"It has warmed up finally and it has taken a little bit of time to do that, but that and some rain would be ideal conditions. Especially for thrips. They like cool and dry," said Thomas County Extension Agent Andrew Sawyer.

Thrips are insects that feed on plants like cotton and peanuts.

And they are making themselves known this week in Thomas and other south Georgia counties.

"Excessive feeding can result in crinkled and malformed leaves. You can have stunted plants, delayed maturity, and even reduced yield potential," said Sawyer.

There are ways growers help combat these annoying pests.

"Growers use at-plant systemic treatments to provide thrip control. But many times they will have to supplement with foliar sprays that are needed if environmental conditions are conducive for thrips," said Sawyer.

But thrips are not the kind of pests growers can wait to get to rid of.

"With or without a seed treatment, if two or three thrips are found on a cotton seedling or any immatures are present, foliar insecticides are needed," said Sawyer.

Growers say while they do need to be careful and protect their cotton from thrips, there is no thrip damage threshold for peanuts.

Growers say there needs to be a high percentage of thrip damage on peanuts before they decide to spray. 

 

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