Cotton Research Background
- Cool-Season Grass
- Cool-Season Vegetable Crops
- Dry Beans
- Field Corn
- Invasive Pests
The California cotton industry has long been a leader for IPM development and adoption. The industry has an excellent reputation with regulatory agencies, agrichemical companies, etc. of being proactive, thoughtful, honest, and supporting agriculture in the short-term with a constant eye towards sustainability. This has been achieved through the progressive attitude of the industry, highly skilled growers and PCAs, meticulous researchers, and the cooperative nature of the industry.
Dr. Tom Leigh conducted research and facilitated much of the IPM research in cotton at UC-Davis in the 1970's to mid-1990's. He and other colleagues laid the foundation for cotton IPM in California. I started working in the cotton system in 1991 and cooperated with Dr. Leigh on studies during the 1990's.
Godfrey Cotton IPM Research and Extension Program: The three cornerstones of IPM include economics (cost-effective), the environment (mitigating contamination of water, air, etc.) and society (producing high quality commodities, protecting human health, etc.). Many of the practices used by the cotton industry have become so “mainstream” that the positive impacts on insect and mite IPM are taken for granted and often forgotten. Insecticides play a key role in IPM although they are used as a last resort, i.e., as pests reach threshold levels indicating that cultural, biological, and host plant resistance constraints have been overcome by the pests. This is a central concept of IPM; integration is the key component as 100% reliance on insecticides is not sustainable. However, cost-effective insecticides/miticides have to be available and the optimal way to use these materials within the framework of IPM needs to be investigated and documented through careful research.
The goal of this project is to study the applicability of experimental crop protection tools for management of insect and mite pests in California cotton as well as to document the performance of the registered standards. The pests of interest in this project included cotton aphids, spider mites, thrips, sweetpotato whiteflies, lepidopterious larvae, and lygus bugs. The integration of insecticides and miticides with other management approaches is emphasized.
Current cotton research projects are carried out at the Shafter Research Station Laboratory.