From Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties

From Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties

July 5, 2013

Whiteflies Impact Strawberries

 According to Surendra Dara, Strawberry and Vegetable Crops Advisor and Affiliated IPM Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties Greenhouse whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum) is the predominant species of whiteflies on strawberries in the Central Coast.

“What used to be a pest causing yield loss through direct damage has now emerged as a vector of a devastating viral disease called pallidosis-related decline of strawberries,” Dara explained


In addition to strawberries, greenhouse whiteflies have a wide host range that includes important commodities such as avocados, caneberries, grapes, lettuces, peppers, tomatoes, and ornamentals grown in the Central Coast. All these crops serve as a source of infestation to each other and increased the threat of whiteflies not only to agricultural fields, but also to nurseries, and home gardens in the recent years.


Agricultural Commissioners’ offices in both Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties and UCCE office received calls this year from strawberry growers, nursery producers, and the ornamental industry to address the whitefly issue.


In response to this issue, UCCE unit serving these two counties increased the outreach about whiteflies, their feeding damage, and disease vectoring potential through extension meetings and publications.


Some fields in the Santa Maria and other areas which suffered from heavy whitefly infestations early in the production season later developed symptoms of pallidosis-related decline.


Diagnostic tests conducted by CDFA and USDA laboratories in Salinas and Corvallis (Oregon) identified multiple viruses that cause the decline. Extent of infection varied from mild disease symptoms in some fields to total dieback. Corresponding damage also varied registering up to 65% yield reduction in some fields.

More California Ag News

BIG WATER RALLY SCHEDULED FOR JAN. 16! Thousands Needed To Participate In Big Water Rally on Jan. 16  
Solano County 4-H Clubs Win Big at Skills Day When Life Gives you Lemons, Make Lemon Curd! Showmanship winner Tyler Scott of the Wolfskill 4-H Club DIXON--Tyler Scott of the...
California Ag News UC To Help Ranchers UC to Help Ranchers Survive Winter 2013-14 The first agricultural operations to feel the impact of a drought are dryland ranchers, many of whom r...
MONTEREY FARM BUREAU WARNS CPUC ON WATER ISSUES Desalination Plant Could Jeopardize Groundwater Supply California American Water could threaten the ground water supply of the Salinas Valley where u...