Several fields were surveyed yesterday (7/6/2010) in central Alabama. My findings were as follows: aphids continue to be low to non-detectable in many fields; drop cloth samples yielded early instar immature plant bugs, and an occasional fleahopper, frequent adult clouded plant bugs, and adult brown stink bugs. All of these were at non-treatable levels at the present. However, as each day and each week passes the bug complex will become more abundant and damaging to the point that the entire complex will require controls. I would key on damage to the thumb sized bolls (until quarter diameter bolls are present) for stink bug decision and to a combination of dirty blooms and the number of immature plant bugs per row foot for that species.
I would advise field surveyors to begin switching from a sweep net to the drop cloth as cotton begins to bloom. The majority of the plant bug population for the next couple of weeks will be immatures that have hatched from eggs deposited by migrating adults during the month of June.
The large tobacco budworm flight has not reached southeast Alabama yet. I will be in southeastern Alabama tomorrow and will observe for moths, eggs, and small larvae at that time.
Calls received this week have centered on what to use for a complex of aphids, plant bugs and brown stink bugs. No one chemical would be the top choice for this complex. A pre-mix or a tank mix of two chemical classes would likely give the most effective control of this complex.