Cotton plants were infested with brown stink bug, Euschistus servus (Say), to define cotton boll age classes (based on heat unit accumulation beyond anthesis) that are most frequently injured during each of the initial 5 wk of flowering. Bolls from each week were grouped into discrete age classes and evaluated for the presence of stink bug injury. Brown stink bug injured significantly more bolls of age class B (≈165–336 heat units), age class C (≈330–504 heat units), and age class D (≈495–672 heat units) during the initial 3 wk in both years and in week 5 in 2002 compared with other boll ages. Generally, the frequency of injured bolls was lowest in age class A (≤168 heat units) during these periods. The preference by brown stink bug for boll age classes B, C, and D within a week was similar when ages were combined across all 5 wk. Based on these data, bolls that have accumulated 165.2 through 672 heat units beyond anthesis (≈7–27-d-old) are more frequently injured by brown stink bug when a range of boll ages are available. The boll ages in our studies corresponded to a boll diameter of 1.161–3.586 cm with a mid-range of 2.375 cm. A general protocol for initiating treatments against stink bugs is to sample bolls for evidence of injury as an indicator of presence of infestations in cotton. Sampling bolls within a defined range, which is most likely to be injured, should improve the precision of this method in detecting economic stink bug infestations in cotton.
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Vol. 98 • No. 1