Cotton bolls have begun to crack in earlier planted fields. For the most part our cotton is looking fairly good. There are some sandy areas that have suffered, but we’ve had some showers this week that have really helped. Here is a nice boll from one of the earliest planted fields in Dillon County.
The cotton in this field is a little on the shorter side; however, the plants are loaded with bolls.
Stinkbug pressure has not been all that heavy so far this season, though lots of treatments have been going out. Many of these treatments have been unnecessary as stinkbug damage was below threshold. The best way to be sure treatments are needed is to scout, check bolls for damage, and use the thresholds in the SC Pest Management Handbook (page 108) as seen below. Simply looking for stinkbugs in a field is not accurate.
You’ll notice the damage thresholds increase as the season progresses. With cotton prices as low as they are this year, it would be in growers’ best interests to spray only when absolutely necessary in order to keep production costs at a profitable level. Refer to the Pest Management guide, linked above, or contact your local Clemson Extension Agent for more information on scouting for stinkbugs.