I am sure that I do not have to tell most growers that thrips have been heavy this year. I have seen thrips injury this year in several crops including corn and cotton. Thrips are extremely heavy in seedling cotton right now.
Here is an image taken by Randolph county agent Brock Ward showing thrips damage on 2-leaf cotton:
Growers should be concerned with thrips in cotton once a average of 2-3 thrips can be found per plant and immature thrips are present. Seed treatments will have action on thrips for up to three weeks after emergence but there still may be a need to apply a foliar insecticide for thrips control.
Follow this link for the Georgia Pest Management Handbook section on cotton. You will find the recommendations for thrips on page 4. http://www.ent.uga.edu/pmh/Com_Cotton.pdf
Typically once cotton reaches the 4th leaf stage we do not have to worry about thrips anymore. If current weather conditions hold, we would expect thrips populations to begin declining soon. Growers need to keep a close eye on their seedling cotton and be prepared to make a foliar insecticide application if thresholds are met.