Virginia Cotton: Crop Moving into Sensitive Stage

Stink bug in cotton. Photo: Kate Harrell, County Extension Agent- Integrated Pest Management

A little bit of rain. Another chance of rain in a couple of days, and then next week 40 or 50 percent chance for many afternoons. It’s the type of forecast that does not allow for planning very well, but it keeps us hopeful.

I am seeing typical trends that we get as our oldest cotton is in its third week of bloom and corn that was planted early is getting mature.

  • We are getting a few moths scattered around and an egg or two has been found. Soon we will have a bonified moth flight as we wait for some reports from the traps to come in.
  • Stinkbug damage is being found in fields that have been blooming for more than two weeks and have some decent size bolls in them.
  • I am expecting the stinkbugs to be a more important issue than they have been in several years because they have been easy to find in these early bloom stages.
  • They cannot do much damage until we get a good number of bolls, but the fact that they are there lets us know that they will be eating as soon as they have a chance (3rd week of bloom).  Be sure that your insecticide choices have excellent control of stinkbugs.
  • Last week I listed the primary strategies we need to use to protect our crop during weeks 2 through 6 of bloom which is the time to protect yield.  I would expect that we can sort of follow along with spraying similar to the way we planted it.
  • We could find that the Plan B approach with an extra spray could make more sense with the later planted cotton, but Plan A is perfect for this oldest cotton.

Priorities for the next week:

  1. Pix cotton that has had good rain if:
    • No blooms and 24 inches
    • Early bloom and 28-30 inches
    • 7 – 9 NAWB
    • If middles are closed and no high blooms with multiple rains.
  2. Look for 10% Bug damage on 3rd week of bloom cotton:
    • April 28 to May 3 or blooms began in June – now
    • May 6 to May10 or blooms began 4th of July – this weekend through next week
  3. Look for Moths and eggs for 2 Bt gene cotton
  4. Look for plant bugs with black sheet or notice dirty blooms.
  5. Boron when you go over it with something if you did not apply in top dress.

 


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