Cowpea, thrips (Frankliniella fusca), acephate and their interactions

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Exhibit Hall 4 (Austin Convention Center)
Paul J. McLeod , Department of Entomology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
Tahir Rashid , Alcorn State University, Alcorn State, MS
Cowpea production continues to increase in Arkansas and Mississippi. Insects that were ignored in past years are now of much greater concern to the producer. In many parts of the world thrips have been reported to significantly reduce cowpea yield. Insect management on cowpea is problematical due to low profit potential. Many producers are unwilling to invest in insect management when profit potential is low. Use of treated seed reduces the application cost and provided the cost of treating the seed is low, treated seed may offer the farmer a valuable and economical alternative to traditional insecticide sprays. Tests conducted in recent years have demonstrated the effectiveness of acephate (Orthene) as a cowpea seed treatment. This past season acephate treatments significantly increased the number of pods and seed weight when compared to non-treated seed. Further, a single foliar application of acephate just prior to initial bloom resulted in an increase in number of blooms and yield.
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