Predatory insect may help with whitefly control

Scientists at the University of Florida have found an insect predator that may help greenhouse tomato growers manage populations of the sweetpotato whitefly when used as a piece of an integrated pest management system.

Bemisia tabaci, also known as the sweetpotato whitefly or silverleaf whitefly, attacks a range of plants, including sweetpotato, squash, tomato and poinsettia. The biotype B species has been established in the United States since the late 1980s. It transmits Tomato yellow leaf curl virus. Young tomato plants infected with tomato yellow leaf curl virus are stunted and unproductive. Continue reading

Cucurbit leaf crumple virus verified in south Georgia

In Southeast Farm Press

by Stormy Sparks and Bhabesh Dutta, University of Georgia

While we have all been bracing for the potential onslaught of silverleaf whiteflies, the one bright spot was that the viral diseases that caused the bigger disasters in 2016 had not been seen in 2017. This is no longer the case.

Cucurbit leaf crumple virus, which decimated snap beans and squash last fall, has been verified from squash in South Georgia (the week of Aug. 1). As with the whiteflies, this first occurrence is earlier than the disease was detected last year. This has also occurred at lower whitefly densities than last fall, which suggests the potential that a fair percentage of whiteflies may already be carrying the virus. Continue reading