Virginia Cotton: Moth Numbers, Crop Maturity, Bugs All Advancing

Cotton had low plant bug pressure early, and a slow buildup until recently occurring in the areas that have kept getting a little rain all along. Stinkbugs have been present but are not significant unless they show up in large numbers or when cotton has bloomed for more than 2 weeks.

  • The situation is beginning to escalate now as our cotton has advanced. Over the last several days, we have begun the increase of insect pressure we expect that comes out of maturing corn.
  • The moth flight has been the last species to arrive to this annual outbreak that many years occurs at the first of August. This year, we are a good week ahead of normal and it is here now.
  • Holland has the highest counts averaging in the 30’s or 40’s since Monday. Courtland has been lower but picking up. Northampton is getting into the 50’s with 2 night catches.
  • The cotton maturity is matching up also, looking like an early August crop, so things are making sense from that aspect.
  • The bottom line is we are officially at that “pull the trigger’ stage.
  • Some of the older fields have already been sprayed, different varieties have different genes, and some of it has just started blooming, so multiple strategies will be necessary to address these varying situations.

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