High Populations of Silverleaf Whitefly
The Silverleaf Whitefly is a pest in crops such as cotton and vegetables. University of Georgia Extension Entomologist Phillip Roberts says there is reason for cotton farmers to be especially watchful for the pest this year.
Roberts… “2020 is definitely a year where we're seeing elevated pressure. Elevated infestations from SilverLeaf Whitefly. There are a couple of reasons for that. Number one, we had a very mild winter. In Tifton, Georgia we only recorded six days where we dropped below 32 degrees coming into this spring. So we had a mild winter, and that allowed whitefly numbers to survive the winter at higher numbers. In time these numbers just build to very high numbers. They complete a generation every 14 days. Right now whiteflies are present at pretty high numbers in what I call our historical area, where we tend to deal with whiteflies on a more common basis. Where we have acreages of produce and cotton in close proximity. And that allows whiteflies to reproduce on cultivated hosts 12 months a year.”
Roberts says the high populations will likely lead to an expanded area of whitefly pressure this year.