Whiteflies Building

In the Imperial Valley, Natwick reports that whitefly numbers are building in summer cotton after an unusually high number of whiteflies in spring melons.

“Whiteflies came early and heavy this year,” Natwick said. “I expected to have high populations on cotton initially and that didn’t happen but the numbers are building up now.”

As planting transitions from transplanting in late August to direct seeding by mid-September, growers will have to manage for whitefly in cole crops with a soil-applied neonicotinoid at planting, he said.

“Just because you have whitefly reaching high numbers this time of year in cotton doesn’t mean there will be high numbers in winter vegetables but it can,” Natwick said.

Natwick said growers and PCAs are preparing to manage the usual pressures of beet armyworm and cabbage looper along with the whitefly in September before aphid and thrips problems surface in late fall and into spring.

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