Bulloch County Ag News

Silverleaf Whiteflies in Cotton

I am sure you have heard about the silverleaf whiteflies (SLWF) showing up in Georgia cotton and other states in the Southeast. Thresholds have been met in some areas in Southwest Georgia and are being treated.

Dr. Phillip Roberts reports that whitefly are spreading and are still quite problematic. He estimates that whitefly are present in about 650,000 acres of Georgia cotton right now, which is half of our cotton acres this year. Roughly 10% of the crop has been treated.

“Don’t underestimate them as a pest. Until this year, they’ve mostly been contained to a small area, so plenty of people have had no experience with them. Early detection is vital and be prepared to use insect growth regulators in a timely manner. It takes about 14 days to go from a fresh egg to an adult whitefly, so they can build quickly.”

There are a couple of handouts below that I hope you will find useful when scouting and treating for these troublesome insects. Hopefully, the SLWF numbers will not reach threshold in our area, but we need to be prepared and ready to react in case the situation worsens as it has in some areas in Southwest Georgia.