Monday, July 13, 2020

Thoughts and Tips for Bollworm Scouting on 2 Gene Cotton for 2020

·       If monitoring 2 gene cotton in 2020, take note of the corn planting window in your area. This plays a large role in the emergence and movement of corn earworm (bollworm) moths to cotton in July and August. The more corn planting is spread out, the wider the emergence window of bollworms.

·       Bollworm moth activity is not constant throughout the season. Instead, it occurs in cycles especially through July. By August, generations of bollworms and tobacco budworms overlap. Fieldmen should detect the start of these peaks by focusing on eggs and newly hatched larvae in terminals/white blooms.

·       Scouting intervals for bollworms may be reduced to 3-4 days during critical windows on 2 gene cotton in 2020. Fieldmen could spot check select sentinel fields of similar variety and planting date on alternate visits to detect increased activity.

·       When monitoring for bollworm larvae or eggs on 2 gene cotton in 2020, be more concerned about detecting population increases early, and reacting if necessary, than quantifying exact numbers—for example: 18 vs. 28 per whatever.

·       Fieldmen should consider damaged fruit on 2 gene cotton in 2020, but treatment decisions will be more timely if primary focus is on eggs and/or newly hatched larvae.

·       Based on my observations during the Bt cotton era of the past 20 plus years, escape bollworm larvae do not feed on or damage as many fruiting sites per worm as they did in the pre Bt era.

·       In order to stay on schedule in 2020, fieldmen should consider only staying in a field long enough to make confident treat or not treat decision.

·       Pest Patrol Updates on cotton/soybean insects in Alabama are available again in 2020. To sign up for the Syngenta Pest Patrol Updates for Alabama, register online at or register via text message by texting pestpat11 to 97063.