Whipping Whiteflies

Whipping Whiteflies

According to a recent whitefly resistance update provided by David Schuster, entomologist at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Balm, the silverleaf whitefly (also known as biotype B of the sweetpotato whitefly) and the disease it spreads — tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) — remain key pests plaguing Florida tomato growers.

The neonicotinoid insecticides remain an integral part of controlling the whitefly and reducing potential spread of TYLCV. Because of the risk of whiteflies developing resistance to the insecticides, researchers have been monitoring susceptibility of field populations to applications of neonicotinoids. The monitoring has shown that resistance is possible and requires growers take proactive action to avoid problems in the field.

In addition, biotype Q of the sweetpotato whitefly has been found in greenhouses and nurseries in 22 states, including Florida. Although this biotype has not been detected in the field, it represents a new threat to vegetables and other crops in the state because it is resistant to many insecticides commonly used against whiteflies.

Working Together 

In 2003, a Resistance Management Working Group was formed to promote resistance management activities. The working group consists of University of Florida research and Extension personnel, companies marketing neonicotinoid insecticides, commodity groups, and commercial scouts.

Because of cases of resistance and the threat posed by biotype Q, the Working Group met again in 2006 to revise whitefly resistance management recommendations. These recommendations include field hygiene and other cultural practices, which should be considered a high priority in overall whitefly management strategies.

Keep It Clean

Field hygiene should be a high priority in managing whiteflies, incidences of TYLCV, and insecticide resistance. Growers first should establish a minimum two-month crop-free period during the summer, preferably from mid-June to mid-August. Next, growers should disrupt the virus/whitefly cycle in winter by creating a break in time or space between fall and spring crops, especially in tomatoes.

Destroy the crop within five days of final harvest to decrease whitefly numbers and sources for TYLCV. Final crop destruction can be achieved with a burndown herbicide tank-mixed with a heavy application of oil (not less than 3% emulsion) and non-ionic adjuvant to destroy crop plants and kill whiteflies quickly.

Rogue tomato plants with symptoms of TYLCV and certain weeds can act as hosts for whiteflies, making weed control all the more important. Cull tomatoes should be disposed of as far away from the production fields as possible. If deposited in pastures, fruit should be spread (instead of dumped) in a pile to encourage cattle to eat the culls. Fields should be monitored for germination of tomato seedlings, which should be controlled by mowing or with herbicides.

Transplant Tips

How growers handle transplants also influences the likelihood of whitefly woes. The obvious first step is planting transplants that are whitefly and virus-free. It is also important to grow and isolate vegetable transplants away from ornamental plants, which host the pests.

Other tips growers can use range from planting vegetable varieties that show resistance to TYLCV to even avoiding yellow clothing, tools and, equipment, as they attract adult whiteflies. When it is time to plant a new crop, avoid planting near an old, infested crop. In fields with a history of whitefly infestations and TYLCV, plant on ultraviolet light reflective (aluminum) mulch to deter the pests.

It is an often preached sermon that is critical — Always Follow The Label. Chemical label instructions will help growers avoid insecticide resistance when followed properly. Selective use of neonicotinoids is important to preserve their effectiveness throughout the season. In the nursery, do not use neonicotinoids if biotype Q is present. If biotype B is present, make only one application seven to 10 days before shipping. In the field, use neonicotinoids only during the first six weeks to leave a neonic-free period at the end of the crop.

As the saying goes: “Do unto thy neighbor as…” These sage words apply to whitefly management, because if full-blown resistance to insecticides (especially neonicotinoids) occurs, all growers will feel the pain. Everybody should do their part to manage against resistance, but growers should keep abreast of operations in upwind fields, especially during harvest and crop destruction, just to be sure “thy neighbor” is managing whiteflies properly.

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “Whipping Whiteflies

  1. good evining
    i want to help me about whitefly
    i make research about whitefly and want to ask you if you know the name of machine that help me to collect amount of whitefly from field
    thanks

  2. good evining
    i want to help me about whitefly
    i make research about whitefly and want to ask you if you know the name of machine that help me to collect amount of whitefly from field
    thanks

Featured Stories
Part of a sustainable cropping system includes desiging fields to wrap around hilly terrain to limit runoff and soil erosion.  Photo credit: Rosemary Gordon
Farm Management
September 28, 2016
Grants Available For Sustainable Ag In The West
More than $1 million is marked for grants to study, demonstrate, and improve sustainable ag practices. Read More
Organic farmer on tractor
Equipment
September 28, 2016
Small Tractor Sales On The Rebound
Retail sales of tractors under 40 horsepower gained more than 21% last month, while sales of larger tractors continued their double-digit declines. Read More
NOAA Temperature Outlook For Winter 2015-2016
Farm Management
September 28, 2016
The Time For Climate Change Denial Is Over [Opinion]
Extreme cold, droughts, flooding, record-setting temperatures have all been a part of this year’s growing season. Read More
Cosmis Crisp apples planting FEATURE
Fruits
September 27, 2016
Focusing On Phenomics In Specialty Crops
It’s not just the nature of your crops — the genomics — it’s also how they are nurtured. Read More
Bob Bender (center) accepts American Vegetable Grower's 2016 Grower Achievement Award from Lonny Smith of AgroLiquid, the award's sponsor, and American Vegetable  Grower editor Rosemary Gordon
Grower Achievement Award
September 27, 2016
Tasteful Selections Is The Recipient Of American Vegetable Grower’s 2016 Grower Achievement Award
The award was presented to Bob Bender of Tasteful Selections Sept. 13 at United Fresh's Washington Conference. Read More
Urban vegetable farm in rural Cuba
Fruits
September 27, 2016
Rodale Institute Launches An Organic Farming Association
A new national organization for organic growers is designed to provide advocacy, the latest research and education, and information-sharing among farmers. Read More
Marco Rubio tours a Central Florida citrus grove with industry dignitaries
Farm Management
September 27, 2016
Politicians May Be Taking Ag For Granted [Opinion]
Growers have become masters at ensuring a steady food supply, but warning, politicians: Ignore them at your peril. Read More
U.S. Capitol Building FEATURE
Citrus
September 26, 2016
Presidential Candidates Comment On Agricultural Issues
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump weigh in on a number of topics of concern to growers. Read More
'Rave' is a cross between 'Honeycrisp' and an unreleased variety called ‘MonArk.' 'Rave' was bred by the University of Minnesota and will be grown and sold exclusively by Stemilt in the U.S. (Photo credit: Stemilt)
Apples & Pears
September 26, 2016
New Apple Variety Is One Stemilt Hopes Consumers Will ‘Rave’ About
University of Minnesota apple variety will be grown and packed exclusively by Stemilt. Read More
David Wiemann explains how the Scott Henry training system controls vigor with four canes instead of two. (Photo credit: Christina Herrick)
Grapes
September 26, 2016
Where Site And Growing System Meet In The Vineyard
Vineyard manager uses growing systems to control vigor of winegrape varieties. Read More
The Latest
Farm Management
September 28, 2016
Grants Available For Sustainable Ag In T…
More than $1 million is marked for grants to study, demonstrate, and improve sustainable ag practices. Read More
Equipment
September 28, 2016
Small Tractor Sales On The Rebound
Retail sales of tractors under 40 horsepower gained more than 21% last month, while sales of larger tractors continued their double-digit declines. Read More
Farm Management
September 28, 2016
The Time For Climate Change Denial Is Ov…
Extreme cold, droughts, flooding, record-setting temperatures have all been a part of this year’s growing season. Read More
Fruits
September 27, 2016
Focusing On Phenomics In Specialty Crops
It’s not just the nature of your crops — the genomics — it’s also how they are nurtured. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
September 27, 2016
Tasteful Selections Is The Recipient Of …
The award was presented to Bob Bender of Tasteful Selections Sept. 13 at United Fresh's Washington Conference. Read More
Fruits
September 27, 2016
Rodale Institute Launches An Organic Far…
A new national organization for organic growers is designed to provide advocacy, the latest research and education, and information-sharing among farmers. Read More
Farm Management
September 27, 2016
Politicians May Be Taking Ag For Granted…
Growers have become masters at ensuring a steady food supply, but warning, politicians: Ignore them at your peril. Read More
Citrus
September 26, 2016
Presidential Candidates Comment On Agric…
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump weigh in on a number of topics of concern to growers. Read More
Apples & Pears
September 26, 2016
New Apple Variety Is One Stemilt Hopes C…
University of Minnesota apple variety will be grown and packed exclusively by Stemilt. Read More
Grapes
September 26, 2016
Where Site And Growing System Meet In Th…
Vineyard manager uses growing systems to control vigor of winegrape varieties. Read More
Fruits
September 26, 2016
San Jose Scale Is An Old Pest That Is A …
Growers see increase in infestations due to changes in chemical control programs. Read More
Citrus
September 26, 2016
Florida Sugarcane Industry Strengthening…
Pot sweetens with promotions for three executive staffers of the state’s Growers Cooperative. Read More
Citrus Achievement Award
September 26, 2016
Hope Growing Around Bactericides As A Ci…
Citrus Achievement Award winner Marty McKenna is optimistic about new approach to staving off HLB. Read More
Cucurbits
September 25, 2016
10 Cantaloupe And Melon Varieties You Ne…
Browse this slideshow for more information on 10 cantaloupe and melon varieties you need to know about from the nation’s leading Read More
Farm Marketing
September 25, 2016
New York Governor Signs Additional Legis…
Bills allow farm wineries, breweries, and cideries to sell New York-made farm beverages by the glass. Read More
Farm Management
September 24, 2016
Water Woes Continue In Northeast
Hydrologist says this year’s conditions are bad but are part of a typical water cycle. Read More
Berries
September 24, 2016
Time Is Now For Florida Blueberry Grower…
Coming off a challenging season, industry players must continue to adapt to curveballs thrown by Mother Nature and market forces. Read More
Potatoes
September 24, 2016
USDA To Extend Deregulation To Two Lines…
Developed by J.R. Simplot, the potatoes are resistant to late blight, reduced black spot bruising, and lowered reducing sugars. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]