Cotton growers have a new weapon against early-season insect pests with Adage insecticide seed treatment from Syngenta Crop Protection.

The new, low-rate insecticide is highly active against thrips and aphids, two important early-season pests that can damage plants and delay development.

A member of a new sub-class of the neonicotinoids chemical family, Adage offers superior crop and environmental safety when compared to many competitive insecticides and is very compatible with the Syngenta fungicide seed treatment package of Maxim, Apron XL and Nu-Flow M.

“Adage is a unique systemic seed treatment that provides superior control of cotton aphids, tobacco and western flower thrips and other pests,” says Steve Russell, seed treatment crop manager for Syngenta.

Adage is quickly absorbed and translocated throughout the plant to leaves and terminal points. When target pests feed on plant tissue containing Adage, the active ingredient is absorbed through contact and stomach activity. It blocks the receptors in the insect that transmit the message to continue eating.

Feeding stops, as does plant damage. Without that fast action, thrips and other pests can cause severe economic damage before they can be identified and treated with a foliar application.

Texas researchers are looking to Adage for control of not only cotton aphids, but other aphid species as well. Without a seed treatment, Texas cotton producers typically face from one to three foliar applications for thrips and aphid control.

Adage-treated plots have required no foliar follow-ups, reports Chris Sansone, Extension entomologist at the Texas Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

“At times, we need early-season pest protection from the time the cotton comes out of the ground,” says Sansone.

In addition to controlling aphids, Adage used at the recommended rate controls western flower thrips and tobacco thrips in cotton.

Delayed crop development is a concern of Alabama cotton growers, says Ronald H. Smith, Extension entomologist at Auburn University. “We don't have an option here. If we plant on time, we have to control thrips. Cotton left untreated will be completely killed by thrips most seasons,” he explains.

Smith has worked with Adage under cool, wet spring conditions in 1999 and under hot and dry conditions in 2000. In both situations, he reports, Adage performed very well.

“Temik in-furrow has been our only consistent protection over the years, and Adage is comparable to it and superior to other treatments reviewed,” says Smith. “Our growers would like an option that doesn't require handling an additional material at planting time, and Adage gives them that.”

In the past, Mid-South growers saw problems when treated seed coats were carried out of the root zone by fast-emerging plants, before the insecticide could activate. The high water solubility of Adage, combined with its tendency to bind tightly to soil particles, should prevent this from being a problem, says Gary Lentz, associate professor, entomology and plant pathology, University of Tennessee.

For more information about Adage, contact you local Syngenta Crop Protection or seed treatment representative, or ask your local seed dealer.