Sticky cotton is one of the most expensive and frustrating issues in the cotton industry worldwide. When sticky cotton reaches the spinning mills, it can contaminate equipment and slow down operations for days, costing the mills – and sometimes growers – a lot of money. Fortunately, sticky cotton can be minimized with good aphid and whitefly management practices.

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To help minimize the economic effects of sticky cotton in 2014, Cotton Incorporated and the Plant Management Network have produced two new webcasts on aphid and whitefly management, the key sources of sticky cotton.

Preventing Sticky Cotton Caused by Whitefly and Aphid by Peter Goodell, Cooperative Extension advisor at the University of California, communicates the severity of sticky cotton and helps growers and consultants identify, scout, and manage aphids and whiteflies in order to prevent sticky cotton from occurring. In this talk, Goodell covers:
• The problems caused by sugars on cotton lint.
• Identification, scouting, assessing and managing sweet potato whitely, biotype B.
• Identification, scouting, assessing and managing cotton aphid.
Whitefly Management and Prevention of Excess Sugars in Cotton by Peter Ellsworth, professor and IPM specialist with the University of Arizona, helps growers, pest managers and other practitioners understand how to implement a comprehensive IPM program to effectively manage whiteflies and minimize sticky cotton issues.

In this talk, Ellsworth introduces concepts in whitefly sampling to support decision making, as well as prevent or avoid conditions conducive to pest population development. Ellsworth also references new and recent research on the role of natural enemies in the effective management of whiteflies in cotton – and how the strategic deployment of selective chemistry can be used to kill whiteflies while avoiding injury to their natural predators.

The webcasts are part of Cotton Incorporated’s Focus on Cotton project, which  contains more than 20 webcasts on various aspects of cotton crop management. These talks – freely accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – cover agronomic practices, crop protection, and ag engineering. This resource also features a new and improved Cotton Extension Search tool, where users can conveniently search for Extension resources across all U.S. land-grant universities serving cotton producers.

All of these resources are freely available courtesy of Cotton Incorporated at http://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/foco.