Cotton IPM in Tennessee
Typical yields in Tennessee average from 700-900 pounds of lint per acre. Estimated statewide insect losses in recent years have averaged about 5%, ranging from 3-7%. Insect pests usually cost Tennessee cotton producers from 40 to 70 million dollars annually. Most cotton is grown in the western part of the state, but about 25,000 acres are produced in Middle Tennessee counties (production map). Historically, the boll weevil was the most important cotton insect pest in Tennessee. Boll weevil eradication is now complete and has eliminated economic injury to the crop by this pest. Growers in Tennessee still pay about $2 per acre for maintaining eradication. Bt cotton, primarily used for control of tobacco budworm and bollworm, is planted on over 95% of the acres. Over one-half of Tennessee’s typical insect control budget is accounted for by costs of Bt cotton, preventative insecticides used for thrips control, consulting fees, and maintainence of boll weevil eradication. Tarnished plant bug, clouded plant bug, stink bugs and spider mites are other pests of primary economic importance.
This cotton insect website is maintained by Scott D. Stewart (Professor, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology).