Maintaining beneficial insects in cotton can help in the control of Silverleaf Whitefly

In recent years the success of transgenic cotton has meant bugs (such as mirids and green vegetable bugs) formerly controlled by broad-spectrum sprays targeting Helicoverpa spp., have developed into important early and mid-season pests. Many growers have found that using broad spectrum sprays to control these pests early and mid-season decimates beneficial insect populations leaving cotton at increased risk of later outbreaks of Silverleaf whitefly.

Transform Insecticide offers excellent control of aphids, mirids, and greenhouse whitefly. It has no known resistance and is soft on beneficials. Using Transform early in the season will maintain beneficial populations, allowing them to control other pests. A number of growers and agronomists have found that by using Transform early in the season they are able to avoid a later spray for silverleaf whitefly. This is especially evident during very hot growing seasons such as is forecast this year.

John Barber is a cotton consultant in St George, Queensland, he said that “Silverleaf whitefly reached pest status in some fields in 2013/14 due to the extreme heat. We applied Transform to control mirids in January and found it gave excellent suppression of silverleaf whiteflies so that no specific whitefly spray was necessary.”

Nick Koch, Insecticides Marketing Manager at Dow AgroSciences says that this kind of feedback from the field really helps. “It helps us to ensure that we can get the best from our products, and helps us to share that knowledge with the industry”. Nick adds that Anecdotal feedback from growers identified that the addition of uptake oil increased the efficacy of Transform on Silverleaf whitefly. This was subsequently followed up by Dow AgroSciences researchers in an attempt to quantify the improvement in control. “We know that Silverleaf whitefly is a big concern for cotton growers, so when some growers said they thought that Uptake was making a bit of a difference we thought it was worth investigating.” The results of the trial work did in fact show that applying Transform with Uptake Spraying Oil @ 0.5% v/v, significantly improved efficacy on SLWF. For regular updates on this trial work and other relevant information, agronomists and resellers are encouraged to subscribe to receive the Dow AgroSciences ‘First with the Latest’ cotton bulletins by emailing