2016 Flue-Cured Tobacco Survey: Entomology Survey Data

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As part of our annual flue-cured tobacco production surveys, we ask county extension agents questions about current insect pest-control practices in flue-cured tobacco. As this information might be of use to other county agents and various stakeholders in tobacco production, we are sharing the survey results on the tobacco portal.

Survey Response

Response to the survey covered 85,248 acres of flue-cured tobacco production in 17 counties across NC.

Table 1. Acres responding to survey by county

To see how this response compares to previous years, see our 2015 post on survey methods and response.

Greenhouse Pest Control

The past three years, 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, an estimated 26% of 105,292 reporting acres treating with it in 2015, and an estimated 24% of 75,405 reporting acres treating with it in 2016.

Soil-Applied Insecticides

In 2014 and 2015, around 70% of reporting acreage was transplanted with plants treated with soil-applied neonicotinoids in the greenhouse. In 2016, that number decreased to around 50% of reporting acres. 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
2014
2015
2016
2014
2015
2016
Admire and generic imidicloprid 85,069 64,692 64,484 69.7 % 65.0 % 42.8 %
Platinum (thiamethoxam) 55,789 56,461 49,071 6.0 % 9.6 % 7.2 %

Foliar Pests and Insecticide Applications

Caterpillars were the pests most consistently treated with foliar insecticides. Pre-topping, around 70% of reporting acres were treated for tobacco budworms (Heliothis virescens), and post-topping around 50% 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
2014
2015
2016
2014
2015
2016
 Aphids 78,035 48,460  54,857 23.57 % 8.62 %  5.7 %
Flea Beetles 74,669 40,942  52,038 5.88 % 5.36 %  4.3 %
Tobacco Budworms 85,069 64,692  70,548 72.77 % 75.99 %  62.7 %
Tobacco/Tomato Hornworms 81,269 54,960 64,448 26.32 % 40.11 % 17.9 %
Suckfly 55,789 31,400  31,657 0.06 % 0.00 % 0.0 %
 Japanese Beetles 55,789 31,400 31,657 0.06 % 0.41 % 0.2 %
Other (Stink Bugs, Grasshoppers, etc.) 60,589 31,400  49,767 0.62 % 1.74 %  4.1 %

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
2014
2015
2016
2014
2015
2016
 Aphids 66,910 45,030  44,990 5.9 % 6.7 % 4.3 %
Flea Beetles 62,787 59,836  51,271 10.6 % 15.6 %  10.2 %
Tobacco Budworms 74,098 40,942 45,171 13.8 % 2.0 %  3.9 %
Tobacco/Tomato Hornworms 76,403 64,692  62,548 59.2 % 65.0 % 46.4 %
Suckfly 53,494 31,400  36,290 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 %
 Japanese Beetles 53,593 31,699  42,390 0.0 % 5.0 % 0.5 %
Other (Stink Bugs, Grasshoppers, etc.) 58,096 31,699  38,890 0.7 % 1.0 % 2.5 %

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
2014
2015
2016
2014
2015
2016
2014
2015
2016
Actara 57,989 44,317 36,290 1.4% 1.0%  2.1% 0.6 0.8 0.8
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) 71,889 64,692 53,848 11.8% 19.9% 14.5% 1.0 1.8 1.8
Belt 81,569 64,692 62,548 43.9% 45.5%  26.0% 1.4 1.3  1.2
Bifinthrin 65,289 33,131 42,390 6.8% 10.0% 6.2% 1.0 1.3 0.9
Blackhawk 64,581 49,363  59,948 16.7% 13.8% 17.1% 1.1 1.1  1.3
Brigadier 46,626 17,807  47,167 0.3% 1.2%  1.6% 0.3 0.8 0.6
Coragen 85,069 64,692  62,548 26.2% 33.0%  32.9% 1.2 1.3 1.1
Denim 43,126 44,317 42,571 0.1% 1.7% 1.3% 0.2 0.5  0.5
Fulfill 43,126 31,400   36,290 0.1% 0.2%  0.1% 0.2 0.3 0.3
Lannate 66,877 37,187  42,390 4.7% 1.5% 2.3% 0.8 0.4  0.7
Orthene 85,069 64,692  62,548 48.7% 50.8%  25.8% 1.4 1.5 1.5
Pyganic 65,781 33,131  36,290 0.8% 1.3%  0.8% 0.9 1.4  0.8
Sevin 45,326 31,400  38,890 1.5% 0.0%  0.2% 0.7 0.0  0.7
Tracer 58,514 37,187  43,667 3.2% 1.3% 2.4% 0.6 0.6 0.6
Warrior 52,626 46,919  36,290 3.8% 4.7% 1.5% 0.6 0.9  0.8
Other 43,126 30,355  28,290 1.5% 3.9% 4.7% 0.2 0.5  1.0

 Integrated Pest Management Practices

The percentage of acres where a formal scouting program, either by growers scouting or professional scouts/crop consultants, was used to make management decisions ranged between 38%and 59% during the past three years.

Year Acres responding to question Percentage of acreage where formal scouting and thresholds used Percentage of acreage where contract IPM services were used
2014 82,469 32.1% 16.0%
2015 64,692 32.9% 27.0%
2016 62,548 26.0% 18.6%

For More Information

2015 Flue-Cured Tobacco Survey: Methods and Response

2015 Flue-Cured Tobacco Survey: Entomology Survey Data

North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual

Tobacco Pest Management-Insects

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
Posted on Mar 30, 2017
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