Phytophagous stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), including green stink bug [Acrosternum hilare (Say)], southern green stink bug [Nezara viridula (L.)], and brown stink bug [Euschistus servus (Say)], have become a serious production issue for southeastern U.S. cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., growers. To investigate how different agronomic crops may affect stink bug damage and fiber quality in neighboring cotton fields, replicated 1.6–2.0-ha trials were planted with corn (Zea mays L.), peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.), and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] bordering a centrally located cotton plot (each of the four crops composed of ≈0.4–0.5 ha per trial). Three trials were conducted in 2007 and three additional trials were conducted in 2008. Stink bug damage in the cotton plot was sampled weekly during weeks 3 through 6 of bloom at distances of 0.5, 5.3, 9.6, and 18.7 m from the adjacent crop. At the end of the year, representative lint samples at distances of 0.5, 9.6, 18.7, and 31.8 m from each adjacent crop were mechanically harvested, ginned, and classed. Results show that boll damage, seedcotton yield, gin turnout, fiber color, and lint value were negatively affected when the cotton was located adjacent to peanut and soybean. Regardless of the adjacent crop, there were no differences among yield and fiber quality parameters comparing seedcotton obtained 18.7 m from the plot edge and samples obtained from the middle of the cotton plot (≈31.8 m from an adjacent crop). These data suggest that integrated pest management programs for the stink bug complex in cotton may include farmscape level planning and targeted interventions as opposed to a crop specific management approach.
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Vol. 102 • No. 4