HomeCropDefending Cotton: Best Practices For White Fly Management 

Defending Cotton: Best Practices For White Fly Management 

Attention farmers! Prepare to confront a common and persistent threat in your cotton fields – the cotton whitefly.  

In this article, we will equip you with practical knowledge on effectively managing this tiny yet formidable pest. Whether you have already encountered cotton whiteflies or wish to stay proactive, we’re here to provide you with the information you need to safeguard your precious cotton crops. Let’s dive in and explore the intricate world of cotton whiteflies, arming you with the necessary tools to protect your fields and ensure a successful harvest. 

Type of Infestation

Both nymphs and adults suck the sap from the lower surface of the leaves and cause damage to cotton plants. 

Scientific Name: Bemisia tabaci  

Most Affected States

It is the most serious pest during summer months, occurs in all cotton growing areas in India like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh etc. 

Symptoms of Whitefly in Cotton

  • Both nymphs and adults of the whitefly suck the sap from lower surface of the cotton plants. 
  • As a result of sucking, chlorotic spots can be seen on the leaves.  
  • In case of severe infestations premature defoliation can occur. 
  • It also leads to poor boll opening and shedding of affected buds and bolls. 
  • Sooty mould growth can be observed on the infested leaves, which is the result of honey dew secreted by whitefly. 
  • Whitefly also transmits “Leaf curl virus” disease in cotton. 

Control Measures

If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above in your cotton field, implement an integrated pest management strategy that includes cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical measures to control their infestation. 

Cultural Measures

  • Avoid late sowing to reduce the whitefly infestation. 
  • Cultivate white fly tolerant varieties like Amravathi, Kanchan, Supriya, Lk 861, LPS 141. 
  • Perform crop rotation with non-preferred hosts like sorghum, ragi, maize etc. 
  • Avoid using excessive dozes of nitrogenous fertilizers, as this can lead to succulent growth which encourages whitefly population. 
  • Remove the alternate weed hosts like Abutilon indicum, Solanum nigrum from the cotton fields and neighboring areas. 
  • Maintain healthy plant growth by providing adequate irrigation. 

Mechanical Measures

  • Collect and destroy the whitefly infested leaves from the cotton plants. 
  • Install Tapas Yellow Sticky Traps at the rate of 6 to 8 traps per acre to effectively control whiteflies in cotton field. 

 Biological Measures

  • Release predators like mirid bug, dragonfly, spider, robber fly, praying mantis, fire ants, coccinellids, lacewings, big eyed bugs to prey on the cotton whiteflies. 
  • Also encourage parasitoids such as Encarsia species, Eretmocerus species to keep the whitefly population in check. 
  • Amruth Alestra Liquid (Bio Insecticide) contains strains of naturally occurring entomopathogenic fungus Verticillium lecanii which comes in contact with the cuticle of the cotton whiteflies and colonizes them. The recommended dosage is 2ml per liter of water.   
  • Greenpeace Neemol Bio Neem Oil Insecticide contains neem-based products azadirachtin which when used at the rate of 1-2 ml per liter of water with 15 days interval between each spray can effectively control whiteflies in cotton field.  
  • Anshul Bio Finish is a broad spectrum biopesticide containing active ingredients derived from many plants. Use Anshul Bio Finish biopesticide at the rate of 3-5ml per liter of water at regular intervals of 10-12 days for effective control of cotton whiteflies. 

Chemical Measures

Chemical measures include the use of commercial chemicals to control whitefly population. Some commonly used insecticides for controlling cotton whiteflies include, 

Product Name   Technical Content   Dosage 
Tatamida SL Insecticide   Imidacloprid 17.8% SL   1-2 ml/lit water  
Kaitaku Insecticide   Acetamiprid 20 % SP   1 gm/lit 
Actara Insecticide   Thiamethoxam 25 % WG   0.5 gm/lit water  
Sumiprempt Insecticide  Pyriproxifen 5% EC + Fenpropathrin 15% EC  1.5 ml/lit water 
Tychi Insecticide   Tolfenpyrad 15% EC   2 ml/lit water  
Oberon Insecticide   Spiromesifen 22.9 % SC    0.3 ml/lit water  
Lancer Gold Insecticide   Acephate 50 % + Imidacloprid 1.8 % SP   1 gm/lit water   
Greenovate Miyogi Insecticide  Chlorpyrifos 50% + Cypermethrin 5% EC   2 ml/lit water  
Pager Insecticide   Diafenthiuron 50% WP   0.5 gm/lit water  
Ulala Insecticide   Flonicamid 50% WG   0.3 gm/lit water  

 

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