In an attempt at capturing 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 and the seed surcharge) `eradication costs`(which include the maintenance fee in those states which have eradicated the weevil and other eradication projects) and `scouting costs` to the traditional `foliar insecticide costs`. Bales lost are also given a dollar value using 480 pound bales at the average per pound price. 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.
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 and an 8% loss on 25 of these 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.
Cotton losses to arthropod pests reduced overall yields by 2.38%. Lygus were the top ranked pest in 2014 reducing yields by 0.829%. Thrips were ranked second at 0.417%. Stink bugs were ranked third at 0.411%. Bollworm/budworm complex were fourth at 0319%. Cotton fleahopper caused 0.134% loss and spider mites reduced yields by 0.118%. No other pest exceeded 0.1% loss. Total costs and losses for insects in 2014 were $646.9 million. Direct management costs for arthropods were $34.07 per acre.
This report is sponsored by a grant from the Cotton Foundation.