The past 7-10 days has been about as quiet insect wise as I ever remember for that time of the season.
Insect wise, we still have a few scattered Tarnished Plant
Bug adults and a few immatures in some unsprayed fields – but I am not aware of
a single field that has economic or treatable levels. In many instances where I
have actually monitored fields, I found that part of the plant bug population
is the clouded plant bug species. This species has been present in some fields
in Alabama for most of the month of July.
Spider mites are still hanging around but have not exploded
in recent weeks. The weather in the form of multiple thunderstorms appears to
have slowed mites. Speaking of weather, some areas of the state have received
multiple rain events of one to two inches or more while others have received
only tenths a few times. Cotton ranges from as good as it has ever looked to
knee high and blooming out the top depending on the planting date and the
amount of rainfall received. In general, the earlier planted cotton that was
stressed due to the heat and drought in May and June offers the least yield
Back to insects now – a few stink bugs, mostly brown, are
present in most fields. However, the numbers do not reflect the level we
anticipated following a mild winter and the number seen on wheat at harvest
time. It appears that the hot dry weather last month took its toll on stink
bugs also. Boll damage to stink bugs is less than 10% in many fields. Cotton maturity
ranges from the third week of bloom on late planted cotton to probably the
sixth or seventh week of bloom on earlier planted fields.
Since we are at least at the third week of bloom, growers
might want to consider a clean of spray for subthreshold levels of plant bugs
and sink bugs in fields that have not received a foliar insecticide application
yet in 2012.
This used to be the time we could also catch some escaped
bollworms with this clean up spray. However, at this point, the bollworm flight
statewide is very low and escaped worms are almost non detectable. Still the
bug complex alone could help justify a clean up spray.
This is the way we see it on July 24, we will be back with an
update as the season unfolds and conditions change.