Whitefly management in Arizona cotton - status and needs

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2 Scopus citations


It has been less than 6 years since the devastation of the whitefly in Arizona and southern California. Numbers were so dense that windshields were clouded with the bodies of the adults, unprotected cotton fields were 'biologically' defoliated, and fields stood in 'permanent' wilt due to the excessive stress imposed by the immatures. Today our program has evolved from an effective, yet 2-dimensional system of chemical management to a multi-faceted, 3-dimensional and integrated management strategy (Ellsworth et al. 1996a; Ellsworth and Naranjo 1999). Early on the three 'keys' to whitefly management were identified by us and others as 1) Sampling and detection, 2) Effective chemical use, and 3) Avoidance of the problem. Now, this matrix of factors can be represented in the form of a pyramid, an inherently stable structure (Fig. 1). 'Avoidance' is the foundation block upon which 'Effective Chemical Use' and 'Sampling' rest. Confronted with a pest crisis, short term survival depends on the upper two levels of the pyramid. However, sustainable, long-term strategies ultimately must depend on the development of a solid foundation, 'avoidance'. At the same time, a pyramid-strategy developed for one pest must be compatible with like strategies in place for all pests of a system. The building blocks of a successful pest management program can be further subdivided into component parts. Sampling in cotton involves multi-stage and binomial methods of classifying whitefly populations (Ellsworth et al. 1995, 1996c; Diehl et al. 1997a, b, c) and sits at the apex of the pyramid. This represents its overarching importance in the implementation of all insect control tactics. Further, sampling plays a central role in the refinement and understanding of our management strategies. Without well-designed sampling tools, progress in all areas of whitefly management would be hampered. These tools have been adapted for new chemistry as it was developed. Effective chemical use consists principally of the use of action thresholds, availability and understanding of selective and effective chemistry, and a proactive resistance management plan. Action thresholds have been developed that are effective at preventing yield and quality losses (Ellsworth and Meade 1994; Naranjo et al. 1998). These, too, are insect stage-specific and have been optimized for proper deployment of insect growth regulators (IGRs) (Ellsworth et al. 1996c, 1997a,b, 1998a; Ellsworth 1998). The IGRs, Knack® and Applaud®, became available for the first time in this country in 1996 and have had a sensational impact on the selective management of this pest. [However, one cannot understate the importance of concomitant use of Admire® (imidacloprid) in melons and vegetables to the overall, area-wide lowering of pest dynamics.] All chemistry has been organized into a 3-stage program of deployment for resistance management (Ellsworth et al. 1996a). The proactive nature of this program has led to the restriction of use of the new IGRs such that their modes of action may be preserved for as long as possible while providing relief for resistance risk to all products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages3
StatePublished - 1999
EventProceedings of the 1999 Beltwide Cotton Conference - Orlando, United States
Duration: Jan 3 1999Jan 7 1999


OtherProceedings of the 1999 Beltwide Cotton Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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