by Stephen Biles – Extension Agent – Integrated Pest Management Calhoun, Refugio and Victoria Counties
Creontiades signatus is an emerging pest of cotton in the Coastal Bend of Texas. The insect has been found to cause boll damage as a result of feeding. Populations of this pest tend to occur within 30-50 miles of the Gulf Coast. This insect has been found feeding on grain sorghum and has been found in soybean fields. Little is known about the behavior of the insect or action thresholds for management. Cotton producers and crop consultants have designated this insect as a pest that needs to be researched in order to find solutions for its management.
The initial goal of this plan is to learn about this insect through field research and survey projects, determine the pest status and develop economic thresholds based of field research and observation. The secondary goal of this plan is to convey information learned through research and survey projects to the grower and crop consultants to educate them on the importance and best management practices for this insect.
To help achieve these goals, a grant was received from Cotton Incorporated, Texas State Support Committee in the amount of $8,000.
2010 projects designed to achieve the initial goal:
- Crop pest survey
- 12 cotton fields, 10 grain sorghum fields and 5 soybean fields scouted 1-2 times per week for insect populations.
- Applied research projects
- 2 Cotton projects
- 1 Grain sorghum project
- Scouting methods project
- 11 IPM Newsletters were published and mailed/emailed to clientele.
- 4 Crop Tours held in Calhoun, Refugio and Victoria Counties
Interviews with IPM Steering Committee members indicated:
- Increased their knowledge of this insect as a potential pest.
- Investigations on the pest status of the insect and possible economic thresholds in cotton and grain sorghum should continue.
In planning for 2011 projects, grant proposals were written to Cotton Incorporated, Texas State Support Committee ($8,582) and Texas Grain Sorghum Board ($6,884). The grant from Cotton Incorporated has been approved for disbursement in 2011. The Texas Grain Sorghum Board will be acting on grant proposals at their December meeting.
80% of responders were mostly or completely satisfied with the accuracy, timeliness and relevance of the information presented by the IPM Program.
80% were satisfied with the response to emerging issues.
80% of responders see the IPM program research as valuable or very valuable to their operations.
80% of responders think IPM reduces their risk of crop production.
60% of responders think IPM increases their profits.
40% of responders indicated a benefit from IPM Program to their crop production of $10 / Acre.
No responders provided additional comments.