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Whitefiles on cotton leaves.

Whitefly Scientists Review Progress

By Jim De Quattro
January 28, 1997

Scientists from all over the country are meeting this week in San Diego to report on the latest technologies being developed to rein in the silverleaf whitefly. The tiny, sap-sucking insect pest was first found in the U.S. in 1986.

Also known as biotype B of the sweetpotato whitefly, the silverleaf whitefly attacks cotton, vegetables, citrus and many other crops around the world. It has put a multibillion-dollar dent in U.S. agriculture, especially in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas.

In 1992, the Agricultural Research Service led development of a five-year research and action plan. The five-year plan has served as a flexible blueprint for finding ways to control the pest.

This week, about 200 scientists are meeting for their fifth annual review of progress under the plan. The meeting runs from Jan. 28 to Jan. 30 at the Holiday Inn on the Bay in San Diego.

A comprehensive feature article about the five-year research effort will appear in the February 1997 issue of ARS’ Agricultural Research magazine. The magazine is in press, but the text and photography for the article are now available to journalists. The article, “The Whitefly Plan--Five Years Later,” is accessible on the World Wide Web at:


Scientific contact: To reach scientists attending the meeting, contact Jim De Quattro, ARS Information Staff. From Jan. 28 to Jan. 30, De Quattro can be reached in San Diego at the Holiday Inn on the Bay, phone (619) 232-3861, fax (619) 232-4924, e-mail