With seed-applied insecticides evolving rapidly since the first one debuted in 1995, cotton growers are ever-eager to try the latest offerings as soon as they become available. The 2007 crop season was no exception, with many growers opting to use Aeris insecticide/nematicide seed treatment during its inaugural season.

University Extension entomologists also looked at Aeris closely this year. The resulting research showed Aeris provides protection against a broad range of problematic pests, including western flower thrips.

"The western flower thrips numbers in our Aeris research plots were pretty low, so there's some efficacy there," said David Kerns, Extension entomologist at Texas A&M University. "At 26 days, we were still seeing activity."

After 26 days, Aeris plots had 0.15 thrips per plant, while the untreated check had 1.95 thrips per plant, he said.

Kerns asserted that even though western flower thrips are tiny-just one-twentieth of an inch long-their economic impact in cotton can be huge. Thrips infested 3 million cotton acres in Texas-more than any other insect pest. The resulting damage cost growers an estimated yield of 49,000 bales (more than 23.5 million pounds) of cotton.

"Western flower thrips tend to be more difficult to control," Kerns said. "We do a lot of research on this pest."

Chip Graham, senior technical development specialist for Bayer CropScience, spent most of last spring and summer traveling across the Cotton Belt to view Aeris-treated cotton in small-plot university trials and larger grower fields. He said he is very pleased with the results he saw this year.

"Aeris has performed consistently from coast to coast," he said. "In particular, we saw very good activity on early season thrips and aphids. Also, Aeris did very well against both root-knot and reniform nematodes."

Graham said he observed favorable root gall ratings and early season seedling vigor ratings when scouting fields that were treated with Aeris.

Aeris can also be bundled with Trilex Advanced Seed-Applied System, a premium fungicide that gives growers protection against the most damaging cotton diseases, including Pythium, Rhizoctonia and Thielaviopsis.

For more information about Aeris and Trilex Advanced, contact your local Bayer CropScience sales representative or visit www.CottonExperts.com.