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  • Funded by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture

    The Southern Region IPM Center is located at North Carolina State University, 1730 Varsity Drive, Suite 110, Raleigh, NC 27606, and is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
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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

AgriLife vegetable breeding program to develop better cultivars

by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife

A unique vegetable breeding program at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Uvalde could bring improved onion, watermelon, tomato and black-eyed pea varieties to producers in South and Central Texas.

“The uniqueness of this multidisciplinary breeding program, involving breeders, physiologists, pathologists and entomologists, is the screening and development of new germplasm and ultimately improved varieties are conducted in real-life environmental conditions,” said Dr. Daniel Leskovar, center director and vegetable physiologist. “This will ensure the cultivars we breed are highly adaptable, as well as have abiotic and biotic stress tolerance and provide high yield and quality. Continue reading

Cornell University scientists sequence genome for whitefly

In Delta Farm Press

A tiny insect that feeds on some 1,000 plant species and transmits more than 300 plant viruses, causing billions of dollars in crop losses each year worldwide, is now about to be subjected to new depths of research that could lead to more effective control.

An international team of researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute at Cornell University has sequenced the genome of the whitefly, termed “a formidable threat to food security.” Continue reading

Sweetpotato whitefly already present in Florida and Georgia

In Southeast Farm Press

by Xavier Martini, Mathews Paret, Josh Freeman, UF/IFAS

Outbreaks of sweetpotato whiteflies have been recorded recently in the Florida Panhandle and south Georgia on tomatoes and other vegetables. This arrival of whitefly is quite unusual at this time of the year in the Florida Panhandle.

Whitefly densities usually increase in October when cotton is defoliated and soybean senesces. This early arrival of whiteflies requires attention given the recent outbreak of Q biotype whiteflies in the Florida landscape. Continue reading

Whitefly control in the greenhouse

by Heidi Wollaeger, and Dave Smitley, Michigan State University Extension

Recently, there have been reports from the University of Florida that there are now established populations of insecticide resistant sweet potato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) in Palm Beach County, Florida. There are two major biotypes (identical genetic “strains”) of whitefly: B and Q. The B biotype of whitefly has been in the United States for over 30 years, while the Q biotype only became a problem in the United States within the last 10 years. The Q biotype is much more resistant to conventional control compared with the B biotype. The Q biotype has been found in cotton fields for many years though, and their presence in the whitefly population has come and gone over the years. A very high level of insecticide use is needed for the Q biotype to become dominant. The B biotype usually outcompetes the Q biotype and it still remains the dominant pest whitefly of greenhouse plants. Continue reading

Q-biotype whitefly is in Palm Beach County

In Southeast Farm Press

byBrad Buck, University of Florida

The Q-biotype whitefly, a significant tropical and subtropical pest, may threaten Florida crops and ornamentals if immediate measures are not taken to prevent its spread.

This significant tropical and subtropical pest may threaten Florida crops such as tomatoes, squash, beans, watermelons and many other vegetables and ornamentals.  Known scientifically as Bemisia tabaci, the Q-biotype is a light-colored, flying insect slightly less than 1 millimeter in length. Continue reading

Webinars for National Invasive Species Week, February 22-28

National Invasive Species Awareness Week is scheduled for February 22-28. And according to experts with the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA), it’s a topic that deserves our attention. Non-native plants, animals and pathogens can harm humans and the environment and impact our nation’s economy. The damage done by invasive plants alone costs the U.S. an estimated $34.7 billion a year.

Continue reading