Economics of Managing Insect Pests of Cotton
By Jeff Gore, Ph.D.
Associate Extension/Research Professor
Delta Research & Ext. Center
Mississippi State University
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Insect pests are an important component of a cotton growers budget that can fluctuate from year to year depending on pest pressure. The uncertainty of insect infestations can impact profitability because it is difficult to plan for in any given year, especially years where infestations are high. This presentation discussed the economics of managing the three most important insect pests of cotton: thrips, tarnished plant bug, and bollworm. Additionally, the impact of spider mites on overall insect protection budgets was discussed. The importance of University recommended action thresholds as they relate to injury potential from the different insects was highlighted in addition to the times during the season when cotton is most susceptible to yield losses from insect pests. This presentation will help growers and consultants make more informed decisions about where and when to focus their inputs in regard to managing insect pests in cotton.