Comments on Thrips and Nematode Control Peanut Notes No. 43 2023

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I had a question about alternatives to imidacloprid (Admire Pro and generic products) for thrips control. Resistance in thrips to imidacloprid has been documented in peanuts. The NC State Extension agent indicated that the grower has challenges getting back to peanut fields in a timely manner for foliar sprays of acephate. They wanted to know what product was the one that would most likely give complete thrips control and would not require a follow up postemergence spray of acephate.

My answer was that all of the in-furrow products we use need a follow up spray in some cases. However, AgLogic is the insecticide that often does not need a follow up spray of acephate. It is the new version of Temik (active ingredient is aldicarb.) However, it is the most expensive product. A second product that performs well is Thimet/Phorate (active ingredient is phorate.) It does a good job controlling thrips but is less effective in some instances compared with AgLogic. If using Thimet/Phorate, it is critical to calibrate accurately. On sandy soils with low organic matter, we can get significant chlorosis and necrosis on lower leaves. If you have never seen the chlorosis before, it can be disconcerting. Nevertheless, peanuts recover. AgLogic and Thimet/Phorate are applied as granular materials in the seed furrow. The farmer mentioned earlier was considering using an older planter with granular boxes because he was concerned that imidacloprid was going to be ineffective. This is a transition back to what we did over a decade ago for many farmers.

The in-furrow spray options are imidacloprid and Vydate. Data on Vydate are somewhat limited. However, it does provide suppression of thrips and is more effective than imidacloprid (due to imidacloprid resistance in thrips) in many fields. The jury is still out on how consistent performance will be relative to AgLogic and Thimet/Phorate. In 2022, Vydate performed well and competed with Thimet in a trial I had in cooperation with Rick and Brian. I did not have AgLogic in the trial.

Vydate is more expensive than a generic imidacloprid and Thimet/Phorate. It is considerably less expensive than AgLogic.

In many of our fields, we will need two sprays. One applied in the seed furrow and one applied about 3 weeks after planting. For April and early May plantings, the period needed for protection can be quite long. Peanuts can be slow to emerge when planted early and do not grow off quickly.

In a lot of the research Rick, Brian and I have conducted, the difference in thrips control with AgLogic, Thimet/Phorate, imidacloprid, and Vydate is often similar about a month or so after planting when acephate is applied postemergence 3 weeks after planting. That is to be expected. Of course, it depends a great deal on when you think you can get back to the field for the acephate spray. If you are usually on the late side, the performance of the in-furrow spray is more important.

The same grower indicated that they were going to spray Velum in the furrow to suppress nematodes. In the rotation research I have conducted with significant populations of nematodes, I have observed only minor effects on nematodes with Velum or Velum Total and no measurable yield response. However, if the grower decides to apply Velum, they will need to include a partner in the tank or they will need to apply a granular insecticide in the seed furrow to suppress thrips. The logical tank mixtures are imidacloprid and Vydate for thrips control. We have not mixed Vydate with Velum. This mixture, however, should control thrips well and increase the likelihood of nematode suppression (Vydate has some activity on nematodes.) However, this combination is not recommended because I am not aware of any research in North Carolina looking at this mixture. It is also a relatively expensive treatment.

The agent also asked about using AgLogic and Velum together. Thrips control would be good due to the AgLogic. The AgLogic and Velum would suppress nematodes better than either product alone. However, in my view, the combination of AgLogic and Velum is cost prohibitive.

If the goal is as much thrips control for as long as possible, AgLogic is the best option. Expense tempers its use and setting up for granular applications is an issue for some growers.