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Will increasing the rate of Admire to 16 oz help with tomato spotted virus or is it better to use another product and no Admire? YOUR thoughts?
Increasing the rate will not help on tomato spotted wilt. A higher rate might help on consistency of thrips control but not spotted wilt. In fact, research in the southeast (GA, FL, AL) and SC shows that spotted wilt increases with use of Admire Pro or generic imidacloprid. We have been able to use these products because we have generally planted towards the middle of May, increased or seeding rates and our varieties have good resistance to spotted wilt (Emery being an exception.) There is a clear relationship of imidacloprid use and more spotted wilt in areas of the US where the virus is found at high levels. We don’t know the exact mechanism of increased spotted wilt, but it may be that imidacloprid makes thrips “annoyed” and they move around, and more plants receive the virus. Many of them die from the insecticide but not before they infect more plants. Resistance in our thrips populations to imidacloprid is only going to allow more movement of thrips and more transmission of virus.
Thimet/Phorate is the best approach for spotted wilt. Across the peanut belt we consistently see less virus with these products. This insecticide turns on an immune response to the virus. Sometimes we need to apply acephate after Thimet. But that is no different than what we have been seeing with Admire Pro and generics. Control by Admire Pro has clearly dropped off. We are needing a follow up of acephate almost all the time these days.
We are sliding back to earlier planting dates and some folks are cutting back their seeding rates. That creates much greater risk for spotted wilt. We may see more issues with greater spotted wilt after Admire Pro because we are opening the door for this virus by our practices. Thimet can serve as a good buffer against it. We just need to get our insecticide boxes up and going again.
I agree 100% with everything David said. AgLogic remains our most effective at plant treatment, but phorate provides some level of protection against the virus in addition to the thrips control.