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 4.61% in 2002. There were 14.38 million acres of cotton planted in 2002, but only 12.86 million acres harvested. Alabama at 16.1% reported the greatest percentage loss to insects in 2002. The bollworm/budworm complex was the top pest of 2002 taking 2.31% of the 2002 crop. Almost 80% of the US crop was infested with the complex of which 83% were bollworms. No other pest exceeded 1% reduction. Fifty-three percent (53%) of US cotton acres was infested by Lygus which reduced yields by 0.72%. Thrips and stink bugs were almost tied for third at 0.447% (Thrips) and 0.446% (stink bugs) reduction. Thrips infest 96% of US cotton acres and stink bugs infest 42%. Boll weevil at 0.175% were 5th infesting 2.21 million acres. Aphids (0.118%) were 6th in the pest loss rankings. Cotton fleahoppers (0.109%), silverleaf whitefly (0.087%), fall armyworm (0.045%) and beet armyworm (0.039%) complete the the top ten insect pests of 2002. Total cost of management and loss to insects to the 2002crop was $1.14 billion or $86.11 per acre. Of those costs approximately $60 are direct insect management costs.
The Cotton Insect Losses estimates are a simple attempt to arrive at the average cost of control of cotton arthropod pests. We 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.