2015 Flue-Cured Tobacco Survey: Entomology Survey Data

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As part of our annual flue-cured tobacco production surveys, we asked county extension agents questions about current insect pest-control practices in flue-cured tobacco. For more information about how these surveys were conducted, see our post on survey methods and response.

Greenhouse Pest Control

In our 2013 survey, 24.8% of the 85,682 responding acres reported treating greenhouse pests with insecticides other than Admire, Platinum, or generic imidicloprid (neonicotinoids). In both the 2014 and 2015 greenhouse study, acephate (Orthene) was the most common non-neconicotinoid applied to treat pests in greenhouses with an estimated 50% of 80,695 reporting acres treating with it in 2014 and estimated 26% of 105,292 reporting acres treating with it in 2015.

Soil-Applied Insecticides

Over 70% of reporting acreage was transplanted with plants treated with soil-applied neonicotinoids in the greenhouse. For more information about using soil-applied insecticides, see the North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual.

Table 1: Percentages of transplants treated with neonicotinoids in the greenhouse.

Insecticide Acres responding to question Percentage of acreage planted with treated plants
2013
2014
2015
2013
2014
2015
Admire and generic imidicloprid 85,682 85,069 64,692 75.1 % 69.7 % 65.0 %
Platinum (thiamethoxam) 85,682 55,789 56,461 5.8 % 6.0 % 9.6 %

Less than 20% of reporting acres applied other soil-applied insecticides in the field either before or at transplant.

Table 2: Field soil-applied insecticide applications, 2013.

Soil-Applied Insecticide Application method Percentage of acreage with insecticide applied*
Capture and other bifenthrins Pre-transplant 7.9 %
Lorsban Pre-transplant 17.1 %
Admire In transplant water 10.3 %
Brigadier In transplant water 1.0 %
Coragen In transplant water 9.8 %
Generic imidacloprid In transplant water 7.7 %
Orthene In transplant water 10.9 %
Platinum In transplant water 0.3 %
*185,682 acres reporting

Foliar Pests and Insecticide Applications

Caterpillars were the pests most consistently treated with foliar insecticides. Pre-topping, between 53% and 75% of reporting acres were treated for tobacco budworms (Heliothis virescens), and post-topping around 60% of reporting acres were treated for tomato and tobacco hornworms (Manduca spp.)  For more information on pest insects, see our insect IPM page.

Table 3. Percentage of acreage treated for common pre-topping pests.

Pre-Topping Pest Total Acres Responding to Question Percentage of Acres Treated for Pest
2013
2014
2015
2013
2014
2015
 Aphids 85,682 78,035 48,460 7.78 % 23.57 % 8.62 %
Flea Beetles 85,682 74,669 40,942 8.09 % 5.88 % 5.36 %
Tobacco Budworms 85,682 85,069 64,692 53.50 % 72.77 % 75.99 %
Tobacco/Tomato Hornworms 85,682 81,269 54,960 29.48 % 26.32 % 40.11 %
Suckfly 85,682 55,789 31,400 0.00 % 0.06 % 0.00 %
 Japanese Beetles 85,682 55,789 31,400 0.00 % 0.06 % 0.41 %
Other (Stink Bugs, Grasshoppers, etc.) 85,682 60,589 31,400 0.26 % 0.62 % 1.74 %

Table 4. Percentage of acreage treated for common post-topping pests.

Post-Topping Pest Total Acres Responding to Question Percentage of Acres Treated for Pest
2013
2014
2015
2013
2014
2015
 Aphids 85,682 66,910 45,030 3.9 % 5.9 % 6.7 %
Flea Beetles 85,682 62,787 59,836 10.7 % 10.6 % 15.6 %
Tobacco Budworms 85,682 74,098 40,942 1.3 % 13.8 % 2.0 %
Tobacco/Tomato Hornworms 85,682 76,403 64,692 60.3 % 59.2 % 65.0 %
Suckfly 85,682 53,494 31,400 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 %
 Japanese Beetles 85,682 53,593 31,699 0.0 % 0.0 % 5.0 %
Other (Stink Bugs, Grasshoppers, etc.) 85,682 58,096 31,699 0.2 % 0.7 % 1.0 %

Orthene, Belt, and Coragen were the most commonly applied insecticides. For more information about using foliar insecticides, see the North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual.

Table 5: Foliar insecticide applications.

Pesticide

Total Acres Responding to Question Percentage of Acres Treated Average number of applications per season
2013
2014
2015
2013
2014
2015
2013
2014
2015
Actara 85,682 57,989 44,317 0.0% 1.4% 1.0% 0.0 0.6 0.8
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) 85,682 71,889 64,692 11.6% 11.8% 19.9% 0.9 1.0 1.8
Belt 85,682 81,569 64,692 31.5% 43.9% 45.5% 0.9 1.4 1.3
Bifinthrin 85,682 65,289 33,131 14.2% 6.8% 10.0% 0.3 1.0 1.3
Blackhawk 85,682 64,581 49,363 4.5% 16.7% 13.8% 0.3 1.1 1.1
Brigadier 85,682 46,626 17,807 4.3 % 0.3 % 1.2 % 0.1 0.3 0.8
Coragen 85,682 85,069 64,692 18.2% 26.2% 33.0% 1.0 1.2 1.3
Denim 85,682 43,126 44,317 0.5% 0.1% 1.7% 0.1 0.2 0.5
Fulfill 85,682 43,126 31,400 0.1% 0.1% 0.2% 0.1 0.2 0.3
Lannate 85,682 66,877 37,187 1.9% 4.7% 1.5% 0.3 0.8 0.4
Orthene 85,682 85,069 64,692 40.0% 48.7% 50.8% 1.5 1.4 1.5
Pyganic 85,682 65,781 33,131 0.0% 0.8% 1.3% 0.0 0.9 1.4
Sevin 85,682 45,326 31,400 0.0% 1.5% 0.0% 0.0 0.7 0.0
Tracer 85,682 58,514 37,187 11.1% 3.2% 1.3% 0.8 0.6 0.6
Warrior 85,682 52,626 46,919 5.0% 3.8% 4.7% 0.4 0.6 0.9
Other 85,682 43,126 30,355 5.8% 1.5% 3.9% 0.1 0.2 0.5

 Integrated Pest Management Practices

The number of acres where a formal scouting program, either by growers scouting or professional scouts/crop consultants, was used to make management decisions increased from around 33% in 2013 to around 60% in 2015.

Year Acres responding to question Percentage of acreage where formal scouting and thresholds used Percentage of acreage where contract IPM services were used
2013 85,682 19.7% 13.0%
2014 82,469 32.1% 16.0%
2015 64,692 32.9% 27.0%

Written By

Photo of Aurora ToennissonAurora ToennissonResearch Associate (919) 513-4344 tatoenni@ncsu.eduEntomology and Plant Pathology - NC State University

Contributing Specialist

Photo of Dr. Hannah BurrackDr. Hannah BurrackAssoc. Professor and Extension Specialist (Berry, Tobacco and Specialty Crops) (919) 513-4344 hannah_burrack@ncsu.eduEntomology and Plant Pathology - NC State University
Updated on Nov 9, 2016
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