Article by Jack Bacheler.
Our variable insect levels and relative pest rankings continue on cotton. Additional untreated cotton fields reached threshold for stink bugs this past week, with probably more sprayed than unsprayed fields in North Carolina now. Several consultants are reporting stink bug damage levels in the single digits. At the Sandhills Research Station this morning (August 10), stink bug damage to quarter-sized bolls was 5% in the untreated plots. For some producers, this time marks the end of the protective weeks 3 to 5 of the bloom period for stink bug damage. Thresholds 20, 30 and 50% internal boll damage, respectively, are recommended for 6 weeks through 8 of the bloom period. This is a stage of cotton when bolls become less vulnerable to stink bug damage. Brown stink bugs still predominate in most areas.
Low bollworm moth counts from light traps continue to amaze me, as a number of traps are only in the single digits to the teens for two-day checks at a time in early to mid-August when these same traps were often in the high double digits to low hundreds in other years. Hopefully, this is translating into limited bollworm establishment so far in 2012, although pockets of high moth activity and subsequent egg lay always seem to materialize in localized areas.