Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Update for the week of July 22nd

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 potential.

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.