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Agricultural News

Check Cotton Fields for Green Stinkbugs

Fri, 23 Jul 2010 5:13:41 CDT

GREEN STINKBUGS are being seen in the margins of cotton fields this year, according to Terry Pitts, Oklahoma State University Extension integrated pest management specialist. Pitts, stationed at the Southwest Research and Extension Center, Altus, Ok., said while stinkbugs have been hard to find in the past, they are more likely located due to water-soaked fields like those found in the southeast US where stinkbugs are a common cotton pest.

"The rule of thumb," Pitts said, "is to treat stinkbugs when 10-50 percent of bolls show damage. Damage caused by stinkbugs is demonstrated by small growth inside the boll wall. After feeding occurs, the boll will be contaminated and rot will result from diseases carried by the stinkbug." Recent research from southeastern states, Pitts said, show a "dynamic threshold" provides the best return on control costs.

The threshold, he said, is dependent on the week of bloom where the first week of bloom allows 50 percent boll damage down to 10 percent in weeks three to five after first bloom. Once the bolls reach the size of a quarter, it is described as safe from stinkbug damage, Pitts said. The bugs are not capable of penetrating the boll wall with their long slender mouth parts so that no diseases enter the boll wall through their feedng wound. "Remember stinkbugs are nocturnal feeders and tend to be clumped together in cotton," Pitts said. "They often migrate from corn, grain sorghum or peanuts growing next to cotton. Weeds on the edges of fields also can support several stinkbugs, so be sure to check those areas when scouting for stinkbugs."

Products giving good control on stinkbugs include Bidrin XP plus Bifenthrin, Endigo, "pyrethroids," Leverage, Acephate, Cobalt Volium, Express and Vydate, Pitts said. For more information, Pitts suggests contacting your local county OSU Extension educator. The Southwest Research and Extension Center' s phone is 580-482-2120. Pitts' office phone is 580-482-8880. His cell phone is 580-318-0208.


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