Virginia Cotton: Bollworm, Stinkbug Impact – CutOut vs. Young Fields

    Bollworm attacking green cotton boll. Photo: North Carolina State University

    General rainfall at the end of last week resulted in from a half to 2.5 inches throughout our region. The possibility of more rain will be welcomed as we continue to advance in crop maturity.

    The variability of our cotton crop will have a significant impact on the management decisions that remain for the rest of August. The oldest cotton that was planted the first week of May as well as some of the cotton that was under tremendous drought or fertility stress has cut out and stopped blooming. This condition is typical on a percentage of our cotton most years during early August but this year, it represents a lot more acreage than normal.

    This very advanced cotton only has bolls and without squares and blooms, it would be difficult for any bollworms to damage it. Stinkbugs can still damage small bolls at the top of the plant but in cutout cotton, the threshold is higher.

    On the other hand, we will probably be justified in protection with a good bollworm pyrethroid on cotton with high yield potential and on cotton that continues to bloom, young cotton, and cotton that has not cut out.

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