South Carolina Cotton: Bollworm Trap Counts Bump Up

Bollworm in cotton bloom. Photo: Gus Lorenz, University of Arkansas

Drake Perrow, producer and consultant in Calhoun County, commented this week that “aphids seem to be enjoying this weather.” I agree with Drake, as aphids seem to still be building, despite the news of aphid fungus in Georgia.

Charles Davis, county agent in Calhoun County, reported that he is seeing “aphids, aphids, and more aphids! I did see a few mummies so hopefully they will be crashing soon. Ladybugs having a field day but they can’t touch these numbers. Other than that mostly quiet on the bug side. Saw some aborted pinhead squares in a couple of fields but couldn’t locate the culprits. Square retention still good though.”

Jonathan Croft, county agent in Orangeburg County, reported that he is “seeing a few more aphids in cotton this week but cotton is growing on with the rain we have gotten.  Spoke to a grower this week that is seeing the effects of threecornered alfalfa hopper in soybeans now.  Damage is on main stem from earlier in the season, mainly in just a few fields not wide spread.”

Bollworm counts in my pheromone traps went up again this week, indicating that some are likely emerging from corn fields.  Start scouting soon in blooming cotton for bollworms.

Also, do not forget about stink bugs because some of the cotton planted early is moving into the window of highest stink bug susceptibility — weeks 3-5 of bloom. You must know the first week of bloom for each field to properly use this threshold.

We consider the first week of bloom when every other plant has its initial white flower. This occurs shortly after you notice the first bloom in the field. Don’t miss noting the first week of bloom!

In soybeans, insect numbers increased this week, with kudzu bugs on the rise more than other species. I did see a very diverse population of insects, with a lot of different species. But no one species seemed to be at crazy high numbers yet.




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