This report is sponsored by a grant from the Cotton Foundation.
This information was provided by state coordinators and was collected from surveys of county agents, extension specialists, private consultants and research entomologists. All data are averaged over a total reporting unit. For example, if a unit report represents 100 acres had an 8% loss on 25 of those acres, then in the table summary this shows up as a 2% loss. ((.08 .25)/100). This type of averaging is used for all data reported, including yields and costs of control. Because of averaging and rounding some individual state summary numbers listed as `0' are slightly larger. Costs are averaged to the nearest cent, bales and acres to the nearest whole number, other numbers are rounded to the nearest .001. Bales are calculated at 480 pounds, and a cost of $0.65 per pound of lint is used in figuring costs.
Arthropod pests reduced overall yield by 9.26% in 2000. Acreage was up and yields were down, largely due to weather. As in 1999, Texas losses overshadowed those in the remainder of the cotton belt. Boll weevil, no longer a major factor east of the Mississippi River, was again the number 1 pest of US cotton in 2000. While infesting only about 44% of the acres it reduced yields by 2.86% across the US. Another surprise was the beet armyworm which came in second at 2.11% loss. The bollworm/budworm complex, causing 1.43% loss, was the number three arthropod pest of cotton in 2000. Eighty-one percent (81%) of US cotton acres was infested by heliothines. Of those, 79% were bollworms, Heliocoverpa zea. Thrips at 0.59% loss was 4th and Lygus at 0.56% were 5th . Stink bugs (0.52%), aphids (0.44%) , spider mites (0.22%), cotton fleahopper (0.15%) and western flower thrips (0.14%) complete the the top ten insect pests of 2000. Total cost of management and loss to insects to the 2000 crop was $1.671 billion or $117.32 per acre. Of those costs approximately $62 are direct insect management costs.
In an attempt to include as many of the costs of insect management as possible, the Cotton Insect Losses estimates have changed in the last few years. They were begun as a simple attempt to arrive at the 'average cost of spraying insecticide' for control of cotton arthropod pests. We still attempt to arrive at the most accurate estimate possible for spray activities, but have also added some of the other costs which are incurred in cotton insect pest management. These 'additional' costs increase the bottom line of expenditures for arthropod pest management - but also more accurately reflect true expenditures. We include 'at planting insecticide costs,'(an estimate of the cost of systemic insecticides applied at planting for control of thrips and other pests of seedling cotton); `Bt cotton costs,'(an estimate of the technology fee); `eradication costs'(which include the maintenance fee in those states which have eradicated the weevil and other eradication projects); and 'scouting costs;' in addition to the traditional 'foliar insecticide costs.' Bales lost are also given a dollar value using 480 pound bales at $0.65 per pound. Remember, these are estimates and may not totally reflect an individual farm or area, but they do reflect trends and serve as a general comparison.