Alabama Cooperative Extension Entomologist Roy Smith says Alabama cotton growers should continue to be diligent about stink bug control.
“We have bolls that are about 10 to 12 days old, about a quarter-size in diameter and soft to the touch. That’s what the stink bug likes to feed on, and they’ll go to slightly older bolls if they need to," said Smith during a recent field day at the Wiregrass Research in Education Center in southeast Alabama.
Want the latest in ag news delivered daily to your inbox? Subscribe to Southeast Farm Press Daily. It’s free!
Smith says growers need to be concerned about stink bug as long as they’re making bolls, up to about 25 days old. “That doesn’t mean you’ll have to spray from now until the end of November. Stink bugs have a long life cycle — about 30 days for the adult and 30 days for the immature.
If there’s an adult out there now, you may have its offspring until frost. That’s good in a way, because once they stop migrating, a suppressing control measure will last two-plus weeks. So we just have to watch them as we move into fall.”
Early-planted cotton at certain locations in Alabama looks very good, says Smith, but other cotton in the state likely will be abandoned. “We’ve got the full spectrum this year,” says Smith.
Turning to kudzu bugs on soybeans, Smith says growers shouldn’t get too excited about the adult species. “You’ll likely have some adults in a soybean field throughout the season. These adults that come from kudzu in the spring will go to the earliest planted soybeans first.
"If you planted in April, you’ll have a tremendous number of kudzu bugs. But if you planted later, behind wheat, you’ll probably have very few because they’ve already found a home elsewhere.”
Kudzu bugs migrate from kudzu, going to the earliest planted soybeans and depositing eggs, he says. “When those eggs hatch, we want to nail the immatures. If you can do that, you might get by with one spray for the entire season on late-planted beans. If you planted early, I can see two generations. The kudzu bug has a long life cycle.”