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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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|