I visited a peanut field this morning that had some thrips damage beginning to show up. Below is a picture I took of two rows of peanuts this morning. The row on the left was treated with an in-furrow insecticide for thrips while the row on the right was not.
You can notice a slight difference in the two rows now, but if thrips continue to be a problem the difference between these two rows will become very obvious.
Here is a close-up of the row that did not receive an at-plant insecticide. While this damage is minor now, it can get much worse if left unchecked.
As a comparison, here is a close-up of a treated row. Mostly you can tell a difference in the young leaves that are just beginning to open up.
Dr. Mark Abney, UGA Extension Peanut Entomologist has been monitoring thrips populations around South Georgia for several weeks now and his data for those weeks is below. He has recently seen a spike in thrips populations across several of his monitoring locations.
Growers that chose a seed treatment insecticide like CruiserMaxx should not expect thrips control to last longer than 21 days after planting. These growers should begin scouting these fields as they near 21 days after planting and consider making an insecticide application if adult and immature thrips are present and causing damage. Growers that chose other insecticide options are not 100% safe from thrips and should still consider scouting these fields and making applications if necessary.
The bottom line is no matter which at-plant insecticide they chose, growers should be checking their fields for thrips now and be ready to make an insecticide application if they reach threshold.
By the way, I am hearing several reports of thrips in cotton too, so growers should not forget their young cotton crop while they are out looking for thrips.
If you have any questions about thrips, contact your local county agent for more information.