Biology, crop injury, and management of thrips in cotton seedlings
A new, open-access article in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management provides a brief summary of the various species of thrips present in U.S. cotton, their plant host range and injury to cotton, a general description of thrips biology, and management practices currently available to growers.
Several species of thrips are known to infest cotton seedlings in the United States and constitute one of the most common insect pest challenges for growers. The species complex, species abundance, extent of crop injury, and impact on lint yield varies widely across the cotton states.
Feeding by thrips results in distortion, malformation and tearing of seedling leaves, reduced leaf area and plant height, reduced root growth, and injury to or death of the apical meristem, the latter of which leads to excessive vegetative branching. Plant maturity (i.e., fruit production) can be delayed and in extreme cases, losses of as much a 30-50% of lint yield potential have been reported.