This week while scouting cotton fields in Calhoun, Refugio, and Victoria Counties, we have found thrips, cotton fleahopper, and aphids.
A few young cotton fields have thrips above economic levels of 1-2 per true leaf. This is not a comment I am fond of making because, I rarely think of thrips as an economic pest in cotton fields of the Mid-Coast. The problem we are seeing is more of a factor of lack of rainfall than the presence of thrips.
In most years, our cotton fields are growing at a good rate and are not stressed in May. The lack of rainfall has me concerned for higher thrips populations in cotton fields with less than 4 true leaves. In these young fields, you may want to consider treating when thrips numbers exceed the number of true leaves.
Squaring cotton should be inspected 1-2 times per week for cotton fleahopper. I have a brief video demonstrating how I scout for fleahoppers HERE.
In addition to visual sampling, once the plants get 10-12 nodes, I start to use a 2 gallon bucket to beat the plants into as an easier method of scouting for cotton fleahoppers.
Treatable fields have more than 15 cotton fleahopper adults or nymphs per 100 plants.
I have found aphids in cotton fields. These aphids have been on a leaf here or there with 5-10 aphids. Treat if plants exceed 50-100 aphids per leaf across the field. It has been a number of years since I have last seen a cotton field requiring an insecticide application for aphids prior to bloom.