National Silverleaf Whitefly Progress Review 
National Research, Action, and Technology Transfer Plan,
1997-2002: Fifth Annual Review of the Second 5-Year Plan
February 10-12, 2002

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Text of second 5-year plan (1997-2001)


Text of first 5-year plan (1992-1996)


Technology Transfer (1992-1997)


Bibliography of Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) and Bemisia argentifolii
Bellows & Perring


The devastating impact of Bemisia during the 1990's on field and vegetable crop production and the ornamental's industry resulted in crop losses exceeding $200 million annually, losses in farm jobs, and losses also occurred in associated farm support, marketing, storage and shipping industries. The principle states impacted in field production, although sporadic infestations occurred in other states, were California, Arizona, Texas and Florida and greenhouse and nursery crops states along the Atlantic seaboard, Midwest and California. This emergency situation created the need for a coordinated, cooperative, multi-agency approach to develop effective control and whitefly management methodology. The first 5-year national research and action plan was active from 1992 to 1996. Following its termination, a second 5-year was initiated to cover the period from 1997 to 2001. Extensive research achievements have provided interim solutions and a better understanding of the silverleaf whitefly (SLWF) problem. Effective controls have been developed on most major crops and losses reduced. Technology transfer to growers and the scientific community has resulted in greatly improved, more efficient and environmentally acceptable whitefly management methodology.

A complete management system for SLWF is a goal for the future, but at present, it is in the formative stages. Extensive fundamental, ecological, and biological research on the SLWF and its natural enemies has revealed potential components for incorporation into an ecologically based management system. Farm practices, such as water-use patterns, proximity of alternate host crops, and spatial considerations, are being implemented to achieve whitefly population reduction. Knowledge of the complex host interrelationships among cultivated crops, crop growing sequences, and urban community hosts has focused awareness that the entire farm community must concern itself with population suppression programs. The mechanisms involved in the complex interaction of host plants and SLWF population dynamics are largely unknown. 

Although insecticides alone or in combination have been found to provide adequate control on major cultivated crops, insecticide resistance management is a particularly important factor that must be addressed. Development of biological and other non-chemical control, disease and silverleaf whitefly-resistant plant types, and an expansion of our current knowledge of whitefly and natural enemy taxonomy, physiology, biochemistry, and genetics are essential to development of long-term management systems.

Both National plans outline a coordinated, cooperative program involving federal and state agencies, universities, and the agricultural industry. Research needs, goals and objectives, and technology transfer to clientele (scientific community, legislators, regulators, the agricultural industry, and the public) are reviewed on an annual basis. The plans are flexible allowing responsiveness to changing needs and priorities with appropriate adjustments to terminate, redirect, or add priorities based on funding, current knowledge, and program needs. The program goals are the development of environmentally and socially acceptable area wide, community-based SLWF management.

USDA agencies (ARS, APHIS, and CSREES), state agencies, state agricultural experimental stations, and the cotton, vegetable, ornamental, nursery crop and chemical industries participated in development of the plan to promote research, establish priorities, avoid duplication of effort, and maximize the use of existing resources.


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University of California
      UC Riverside 
College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences


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