This is Jack Bacheler, Extension Entomologist at NCSU with the Wednesday Cotton Insect Hotline tape, although today is Thursday, May 14.
Cotton planting progress in North Carolina so far is all over the map, and not necessarily with an edge to the southern counties. For example, as of two days ago cotton planting in Northampton County was estimated to be approaching 90% completed, while Scotland County was only in the 30% range. Fortunately, we still have about another week to 10 days before yield prospects begin to dampen.
With the third, and first potentially large, generation of thrips now underway, the potential for damage to early-planted cotton has begun. For the most part though, the earliest thrips damage to cotton seedlings rarely occurs before the second or third week after planting. The good news is that at this point, thrips levels appear to be on the low side and a little late.
Meanwhile, most of your scouting should focus on the earliest planted cotton, especially at approximately three weeks when the activity of seed treatments runs out. In almost all cases with cotton planted before about May 15-20, cotton will need a foliar application behind seed treatments at approximately the first true leaf stage or at three weeks. Temik often provides longer residual control if conditions for uptake are good, or at least reasonable. Uptake can be compromised by both hot dry weather and by cool wet weather. Ideal conditions for uptake of Temik (or the active ingredient aldicarb) would be 4-5 weeks or so with warm temperatures and good soil moisture. A string like that would unusual in North Carolina, however.
We’ll likely get some indication as to how the thrips situation on cotton is shaping up by about this time next week.
Please drop us an email and let us know how things are unfolding in your area.
We’ll hopefully provide next week’s cotton insect tape on Wednesday, May 20. See you then.