Article by Jack Bacheler.
We have finally reached the point when the vast majority of cotton fields are fully cut-out and opening, and are therefore no longer vulnerable to insect damage. Additionally, the remaining upper bolls that still can be picked off by a bollworm or stink bug typically contribute little to yield. For the few cotton fields that are still susceptible to stink bug damage, producers should be reminded that like bollworm moths, stink bugs can concentrate in the remaining late-maturing cotton fields in high numbers. These fields should be monitored for internal damage to quarter-sized bolls. However, at least 50% of these bolls should be damaged before a spray is considered. Even then, one must balance the protection of smaller bolls against the tire damage to bolls and branches from ground rigs. We’ll begin our annual boll damage assessment next week to determine how this year’s bollworm and stink bug damage compares with previous years.