Georgia Cotton: Increase in Silverleaf Whitefly, Aphid Populations

Whitefly adults and eggs. Photo: James Castner, University of Florida

This growing season has been challenging for growers. Growers have been battling early-season heat stress, limited rainfall, and above average disease and insect pressure. Although several parts of the county have received a few inches of rainfall in the past two weeks it is not enough.

The late-season rainfall has only benefited late-planted cotton; inadvertently, igniting disease outbreak and rebuild of insect populations.

While traveling throughout the county last week, I observed several fields impacted by limited amounts of rainfall and late season insect infestation. Silverleaf Whitefly population in Coffee County was low a few weeks ago, but has progressively increase since then.

Last week, Dr. Phil Roberts, UGA Extension Entomologist, confirmed that the Silverleaf Whitefly population has migrated east of Tifton.

While scouting a few fields throughout the county last week I can confirm silverleaf whitefly and aphid populations are increasing throughout the county. These insects could have a negative impact on cotton yields especially late planted cotton. Growers and crop consultants should remain vigilant about scouting for insects in late planted cotton.

For silverleaf whitefly management and thresholds information, please read an article posted by UGA extension titled, “Managing Silverleaf Whiteflies in Cotton.”




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