Thrips: Small Bug, Big Problem

By: Bergen Baucom Email
By: Bergen Baucom Email

Marianna- Micke Thompson has been feeling the same frustration many Panhandle farmers have been feeling...

"Well it's just been a year. It started off cool, everything didn't work right, and then it turned all hot and dry and we couldn't plant so we're just working with what we got."

But what Thompson's got was better than most- thrips. It's a costly crop killing insect that sucks the life out of young leaves.

"Thrips damage has been worse this year than normal" Josh Thompson, the Regional Agriculture Agent explained, "and I think part of the reason is because of the weather we had."

"I grow peanuts, soy beans, corn, oats, hay, cattle- everything but cotton" Micke told us. And that one exception could be a reason he's he's had thrips free fields so far.

Cotton is one of the critters favorite crop's, but it's not the only one.
Josh advised: "right now, people who are still planting cotton, and there are a few, they just need to be thinking about getting some kind of insecticide spray out there as soon as the cotton emerges. If they're still planting any peanuts, its something to think about given the damage we've had around here and just north of us."

Micke told us the bugs are too small for him to see with the naked eye, so he keeps a close watch on crop damage that may indicate the bugs have infiltrated his fields.

"If you're not on it within two or three weeks there, you'll have enough damage- especially in peanuts- it will just wipe them out. Its a devastating thing but you just have to deal with it."

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