Controlling cotton insect pests has become a major cost in cotton production in the Midsouth. Mississippi has experienced increasing insect control costs during the last several years that may make changes in control approaches advisable. Control strategies for the future, especially area- wide activities such as boll weevil eradication, depend on these activities being favorable economically. To help make decisions about future activities, some cost analyses are needed. Analyses of complicated by the fact that the severity of any one pest species can change from year to year. For some species these variations can be explained by severity of winter temperatures conditions. and spring flooding Information from the Mississippi State Cooperative Extension Service Insect Newsletter published each year illustrates the variations that occur from year to year. For example, a series of very mild winters experienced prior to the 1995 production season might explain the severity of the insect attack which occurred. The winter of 1991-1992 was considered one of the mildest in the last 100 years. In late May of 1992 it was reported that the overwintered boll weevil captures were high in many counties. Again in 1993 boll weevil trap catches were high averaging more than 500 per trap during a two- week spring period in Hill areas. In 1994, boll weevil trap captures were less than the previous year but still high enough to be a serious threat. Tarnished plant bug numbers were extremely high during the 1994 season and remained a problem in cotton throughout the growing season. The 1995 growing season saw a low plant bug population that was very slow to develop in cotton. Boll weevil populations continued to be high during the 1995 season.
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