This presentation documents tremendous change in the Arizona cotton industry during the past decade. From devastating outbreaks of pink bollworm (1990) and whiteflies (1992 & 1995) to introduction of strategic pest control technologies, Bt cotton and insect growth regulators (1996), cotton growers saw their average spray requirement plummet from 12.5 sprays at $217/A (1995) to an historic low of 1.91 sprays at $37/A (1999). Now new threats from an old pest, Lygus bugs, pose serious challenges to these staggering advances in cotton IPM. This poster highlights the key advances made in research, implementation, and education during this volatile decade.
Cotton production in Arizona has been faced with major challenges in insect control during the past decade. These challenges have been met through IPM programs of research, implementation, and education. The decade began (1990) with an outbreak of our key lepidopteran pest, the pink bollworm. Growers sprayed for all pests more than 11 times at a cost of over $113 / A. The following years (1991-1995) saw the introduction of and devastation by a serious, quality-reducing insect, the sweetpotato or silverleaf whitefly. Growers sprayed up to 6.6 times at a cost of over $145 / A to combat this single insect pest. The cotton IPM program at the University of Arizona along with industry, grower, and USDA partners readied farmers for the introduction (1996) of two strategic sets of pest control technology, 'Bt' transgenic cotton and insect growth regulators (IGR). Through an aggressive educational campaign, growers learned about the safe, effective, and sustainable use of these technologies.
The ESA 2001 Annual Meeting - 2001: An Entomological Odyssey of ESA