Source: The post is based on the article “White fly attack, untimely rains and drought; Rajasthan farmers stare at losses” published in Down To Earth on 26th September 2022
What is the News?
The number of white fly attack on cotton has been increasing in states like Punjab and Rajasthan.
What is White Fly?
Whitefly is a serious pest of cotton that lowers yield by feeding on the underside of the leaf and spreading diseases like Cotton Leaf Curl Virus.
Whiteflies feed on the sap of the leaves and release fluid onto the leaves on which a black fungus grows.
This affects photosynthesis, the food-making process of the plant, and so lowers the strength of the plant.
Origin: Most of the whitefly species are native to the Caribbean islands or Central America. In India, the first invasive whitefly was reported in Kerala in 1995.
Spread of Whitefly: Whitefly species are expanding their host range (Species on which they feed) on valuable plant species like coconut, banana, mango, sapota, guava, cashew, oil palm, and important medicinal plants.
– The host range of all the whiteflies is increasing due to their polyphagous nature (ability to feed on various kinds of food) and prolific breeding (produces a large number of offspring).
Measures to control Whiteflies: Click Here to read