Frequently asked questions: Managing silverleaf whitefly and mealybug in cotton

In this blog, Richard Sequeira provides information on silverleaf whitefly (SLW) and solenopsis mealybug for cotton growers in the 2017-18 season.

Whitefly

The TIMS committee has approved a 30-day window for the application of pyriproxifen (Admiral) to control whitefly (SLW) in all cotton growing districts/areas in Australia, beginning in the 2017-18 season:

Q: Why is a 30-day window necessary?

Survey to benchmark water use efficiency in cotton (6 October 2017)

Cotton growers are invited to participate in a water productivity benchmarking study, from the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Agriculture Division, over the 2017-18 season.

The 2017-18 survey, which is delivered with support from the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC), follows on from similar surveys in 2006-07, 2008-09 and 2012-13, which found that the cotton industry has achieved a 40 per cent increase in water productivity since the study conducted by Tennakoon and Milroy (2003) (0.79 bales per megalitre) 10 years earlier.

Cotton growers' corridor planting contributes to natural pest control (16 Aug 2017)

In 2001, in partnership with Greening Australia and the Australian Government's Envirofund, cotton growers Geoff and Ally O'Neill planted eight hectares of native trees and shrubs on their cotton property “Lllano” near Bald Hill. 

“We wanted to increase the biodiversity on our farm as well as provide a windbreak,” Geoff said. “Fifteen years later we definitely see more birds and lizards and feel the corridors are contributing to natural pest control.”

Before planting the corridors, Geoff fallowed the area for 18 months.

Cottoning onto the Macquarie River: NRM field day (4 March 2017)

CottonInfo REO Amanda Thomas blogs about the 'Cottoning on to the Macquarie' NRM field day, held on Saturday 4 March:

The field day was a collaboration between CottonInfo, the Australian Government and Central West Local Land Services.  We had the 40 spots in the kayaks snapped up by the cotton growers and their families. Stacey Vogel, the Natural Resource Management Technical Specialist on the CottonInfo team, has run many of these successful days across the cotton industry. All I had to do was get the message out the growers who jumped at  the opportunity. 

Solenopsis mealybug spotted (February 2017)

With Solenopsis mealybug widespread throughout QLD and confirmed in WA, NT and VIC, and mostly recently in the Macintyre valley, growers and consultants are encouraged to remain vigilant in monitoring for this pest.

Please note: all new or unusual detections of mealybug need to be reported. In NSW, call the Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881. In QLD, call DAF on 13 25 23.

What to look for:

Growers and consultants are encouraged to keep an eye out for mealybug and mealybug hot spots:

New CottonInfo officer to connect growers with research in the Gwydir - January 2017

CottonInfo, the Australian cotton industry’s joint extension program, has announced the appointment of a new Regional Extension Officer for the Gwydir Valley, Janelle Montgomery.

Janelle is already an important member of the CottonInfo team, having served as the CottonInfo Technical Specialist for water use efficiency since the team’s establishment in 2012.

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