It has been announced that a new insecticide containing the active ingredient sulfoxaflor, Transform 50 WG, was granted a Section 18 for use in Tennessee (link to previous article).

Transform is made by Dow AgroSciences and represents a new mode of action. 

The Section 18 label allows use only on cotton at a rate of 1.5 – 2.75 ounces per acre (but 1.5 ounces will be the normal use rate). 

Some product is expected to be available at local distributors towards the end of the month. Below I’ve summarized what I see as the strengths and weakness of Transform.

Strengths

• A unique mode of action and should be a good resistance management tool for tarnished plant bugs and cotton aphids. Aphids in particular have already become resistant to neonicotinoid insecticides in parts of the Mid-south, and we are relying too heavily on too few other modes of action.

• Excellent activity on tarnished plant bug providing knockdown and residual control as good as the best competitive treatments such as Orthene/Acephate  (1 pound per acre), Bidrin (8 ounces per acre) and Endigo (5 ounces per acre).

• Not expected to readily flare outbreaks of secondary pests such as spider mites or cotton aphids, and indeed, provides excellent control of aphids.

Weaknesses

• Provides only suppression of stink bugs.

• No activity on caterpillar pests.

• A 360 day “plant back” restriction to any crop other than cotton. This restriction is likely to disappear if the full label is granted this fall, but there are no guarantees.

• At the rumored price for the 1.5 ounce rate, it will be difficult to choose Transform if stink bugs or bollworms are also present. A pest complex including stink bugs or bollworm will require a tank-mix or a rotation with another product (such as a synthetic pyrethroid).

I would encourage all cotton producers to try Transform on some fields. This will give you and your consultants some experience with what this product brings to the table.