The adults chew shallow narrow channels or grooves in the upper surface of leaves. The field should not be plowed until late winter or spring because rots covered by soil provide a good over-wintering place for the weevil. Don’t abandon all hope though, because this isn’t exactly a death sentence for your potatoes. The planting of small grains on heavily infested portions of a farm will reduce the numbers of beetles, because small grains are poor food for adults and whitefringed beetles feeding on them produce few eggs. A bar placed on the spray boom ahead of the nozzles will bend large plants over and let the spray hit the base of the plants. Eggs are placed in masses on the foliage by moths. There are multiple generations per year. Larval injury to sweet potato roots resembles that caused by white grubs. The flower thrips is yellowish brown to amber with an orange thorax. The most common species of cutworm in sweet potatoes is the granulate cutworm. (I live in Orlando, BTW.) Potato Leaves Yellow Spots. They are the opposite end of the garden. Use at least 15 gallons of water per acre with the insecticide. Adult beetles moving into the field will lay eggs, and resulting rootworms will injure the roots once these soil insecticides break down. Read on to learn how to identify potatoes with early blight and about potato early blight treatment. Cucumber beetle eggs are orange-yellow and oval and found in clusters in the soil at the base of plants. Repeated cultivation of the fields in the spring will help remove alternate food sources and expose grubs and wireworms to birds and other predators. Cut the plants at least an inch above the soil. You can harvest leaves at any time or harvest the entire vine. The injury caused by white grubs and whitefringed beetle larvae is similar to each other and different from the other soil insects. If I moved my finger across the spots, they absorbed back into the sweet potato. Potato Leaves Spots. Growth tends to be squat and bushy; leaflets bluish green and slight intervenal chlorosis, marginal scorch and brown spots on under surface. The eggs are white, oval to spherical and very small. What is Potato … But if all the practices are used together, they assure that the plants taken to the field will be as weevil free as possible. Avoid planting potatoes in extremely wet conditions with poor drainage. Contact Information:Telephone: 318-435-2155 Fax: 318-435-2110Postal Address: P.O. Remove volunteer sweet potato plants that may have survived from previous crops. The adult feeds on the root, puncturing numerous small holes and laying eggs in these punctures. Normally you don’t see them at all, but you can see them when swollen (see photo above). Whitefringed beetles cannot fly, so they move very little from year to year. Flea beetles chew shallow, narrow, winding tunnels along the surface of the root. When field graded at harvest, ingested sweet potatoes should not be left in the field. The larval stage may last eight to 30 days, depending on food supply and temperature. The C-shaped grub has a distinct brown head; a shiny, smooth body; and three pairs of legs just behind the head. Eggs are laid singly on the lower surface of leaves. Adults are white insects (up to 3/32 inch) that resemble tiny moths. An aphid can acquire the virus from infected plants in less than a minute while feeding, and transmit it to a healthy plant in seconds. The front wings are wide, and the first hardened plate of the thorax covers the head. These beetles are highly mobile. Since this insect cannot fly, its only means of movement are by walking and by being carried on plants being transported to new locations. The pupa is reddish-brown and is found in the soil. Thrips are spindle-shaped and 1/16 inch or less in length. These new larvae will not be killed once the soil insecticide has broken down. Depending on environmental conditions, the insecticide used and the coverage obtained with the spray application, a foliar-applied insecticide may kill beetles for anywhere from one day to one week. Both adults and larvae can be found on the leaves. Chemical control of aphids, however, has little effect due to the rapid nature of transmission. The cabbage looper is susceptible to all the insecticides. This will control the weevils that survived the winter in the previous year’s fields. Adult white grubs (May beetles, June beetles) are generally active in the spring and early summer. As with cucumber beetles and wireworms, white grubs may be in the field before planting. The next step in weevil control is to spray the plant beds. Nucleic acid-based molecular techniques such as reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and PCR are also used as rapid detection tests for the most common viruses of sweet potato. Because of the long life cycle of wireworms, the presence of these insects in the previous season increases the likelihood of injurious numbers in the current season. If a single trap catches as many as four weevils in a week, begin weekly foliar spray applications (Imidan, Penncap M, Sevin, Thiodan) until weevil numbers drop to below the threshold level. Potato plants often have spots on the leaves, and the causes vary from serious diseases to something harmless. Sweet potatoes are an important commercial crop and contribute significantly to food security in many poorer South African households. I planted the seeds back in the autumn and had hoped I could get them growing using a cold frame idea. Several species of tortoise beetles feed on sweet potato foliage. Roots injured during early development will have many unsightly healed holes at harvest. Melon aphid is a primary vector of sweet potato feathery mottle virus. Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas Lam.) Unfortunately, like several other crops, sweet potato is prone to virus infections, which are associated with substantial yield and quality loss. Loopers can be distinguished form armyworms by the ‘looping’ motion when they crawl: they arch their back up while moving in a forward direction because of a reduced number of legs on the abdomen. What you’re actually seeing when you notice white droplets leaking from your sliced sweet potato is the sap from the sweet potato plant. Click beetles tend to be active at night and will not be captured with a sweep net during the day. Many insect pests have the potential to reduce the quality and yield of sweet potatoes. The length of the life cycle varies; some species complete a generation in one year, and others require two to three years to complete a generation. The potato plant produces white or blue flowers and yellow-green berries. A wireworm larva is cylindrical with three pairs of short legs near its head. Chlorotic spots sometimes appear at the feeding sites on leaves, and heavy infestations cause leaf wilting. Honeydew secreted by aphids makes plants sticky and enhances development of black sooty mold on plant foliage. Larvae are green to brown with slanted black lines on both sides of the body and a black anal horn. as nitrocellulose enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (NCM-ELISA) and double antibody sandwich ELISA (DAS-ELISA), using a broad spectrum antiserum. This insect will also feed on morning glory. The spherical egg is translucent with a greenish tint. Fortunately, these are physiological problems and not caused by disease or insects. Microbial insecticides may be used to control caterpillars. These insects can cause economic loss, but usually only at very high numbers, and it is relatively easy to control them with insecticides because they are exposed on the plant. Wireworms have a longer life cycle than cucumber beetles and as adults are less mobile. Foliar applications of insecticides to control cucumber beetles will control click beetles. It is the most serious disease affecting sweet potato in East and West Africa, and has also been reported in isolated areas in Southern Africa. These armyworms have a broad host range, feeding on many plants including several vegetable and field crops as well as weeds. Adult beetles are black and covered with dark-gray and grayish-brown scales. They emerge in late May through mid July. Foliar insecticide applications for the soil insect pests will control the defoliating insects. Instead, they should obtain cuttings from vine growers who replace their stock annually with virus-indexed planting materials obtained from the ARC-VOP. Dr Julia Mulabisana and Dr Sunette Laurie of the Agricultural Research Councilâs Vegetable and Ornamental Plants division explain how farmers can recognise and control the most serious viruses that affect this crop. 225-578-4143 The excretion of honeydew and the subsequent development of sooty mold fungi also may reduce photosynthesis and other physiological functions of the plant. Crop rotation can be used effectively to reduce infestation levels. This is the handiwork of the sneaky golden tortoise beetle. They are daytime feeders but are sometimes difficult to find because they move to the base of the plant. Depending on environmental conditions, incubation of eggs varies from four to 56 days. Wireworms have a very broad host range and will feed on weeds in the fields. Baton Rouge, LA 70803 Cutworms have a very wide host range and may feed upon a variety of weeds and grasses. The most common problem people experience with sweet potato vines is discovering leaves riddled with holes. Control of cutworms can be achieved with many insecticides including Sevin. The grub will tunnel through leaves and roots. The adult weevil feeds on all parts of the plant but reproduces only in the stems and roots. Host Plants – The tobacco wireworm apparently prefers tobacco, but it feeds on a variety of other plants including cotton, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and various truck crops. Larvae found in the vine usually come from eggs deposited in the plant production bed. Lenticels are minute organs used by the tuber to breathe but in waterlogged soils … Other species of flea beetles such as the pale-striped flea beetle may be found in sweet potato fields. Much to my surprise as soon as the soil warmed up this spring plants popped up. White grubs are often found in large numbers in pastures and grassy areas. Adult thrips have pairs of long, narrow wings fringed with long hairs. They are called tortoise beetles because they resemble tortoises. The melon aphid and green peach aphid are the most common species of aphid on sweet potatoes. White grubs gouge broad, shallow to deep, irregular areas on the surface of the root. Adults emerge from pupae about a week later. Early feeding appears as shallow but large cavities. Some of the more important ones in South Africa are described below. Adult beetles can be monitored with sweep nets. White grubs may be found by turning over (shovel or plow) the soil and checking for grubs in the loose soil. June beetles tend to be active at night and will not be captured with a sweep net during the day. Tubers may be rotten upon harvest or rot in storage later on. I’ve just sprayed my tomato plants … Alternaria storage rot Alternaria spp. The Guide to Sweet Potato Production in South Africa can be purchased from the ARC-VOP by emailing Tsholofelo Tselapedi at [email protected]. Box 120Chase, LA 71324e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture, 101 Efferson Hall Sweet potato leaf curl SÃ£o Paulo virus, sweet potato leaf curl and sweet potato mosaic virus are begomoviruses reported in South Africa. Let’s take a look at what different types of spots on potato leaves mean. Adult moths emerge to start a new generation. Potato Leaves Nitrogen deficiency Right: nitrogen deficient leaf, pale green and yellow tinted, contrasted with left, normal green leaf with ample nitrogen supply. Sweet potato virus C was previously called the C strain of sweet potato feathery mottle virus. Does this plant require special care as a houseplant? Pick off weevils. Remove and destroy infested plants. Spray preventatively to limit the spread of the virus. Tortoise beetles are brightly colored, usually gold with black and/or red markings, depending on the species. Flea beetles are an occasional problem for growers. Email Dr Julia Mulabisana at [email protected] agric. Larvae have three pairs of true legs near the head but do not have prolegs. The stem remains strong, but more leaves begin to wilt and eventually turn yellow. They have a pale yellow to reddish-brown body and a brown, flattened head. These insects chew small, shallow circular or oblong holes through the skin of the root. Larvae of these two species are very difficult to tell apart. Several species of white grubs are pests of sweet potatoes, but the most prevalent species is Phyllophaga ephilida. Whitefringed beetle larvae are very difficult to control because the larvae often remain deep in the soil where even preplant incorporated soil insecticides may not reach them. The presence of an infestation the previous year then indicates close attention is warranted in the current year. Over-wintering occurs in protected places such as under logs or leaves, along fencerows and at the edges of wooded areas. Larvae produce small, round shallow feeding holes on the root surface. Females oviposit on bare soil or soil planted to crops. The soybean looper has shown resistance to pyrethroids but will be controlled by Spintor or the organophosphates (Imidan, Penncap M), the carbamates (Sevin) or the Bts. I ended up cutting 1" wedges, and washed the white stuff off, and nuked them and tasted fine. Sweet potatoes should be cured for seven to 10 days at 85oF. The potato tubers grow underground and generally located in the top 25 cm (10 in) of the soil. Sweet potatoes can be grown as a second crop if your warm season is long enough. Larvae tunnel throughout the root. The adults will feed above ground and can be controlled with foliar applications of insecticides (Penncap or Imidan). Alternaria leaf spot and stem blight Alternaria spp. Potato Blackleg Common during wet growing seasons, potato blackleg causes leaves to turn pale green or yellow. The head and legs are covered in a roof-like manner by the margins of the body. As lesions expand, they can girdle ste… Feeding holes are in groups and may enlarge as roots develop. The reason for spraying the base of the plants and the soil surface is that the female weevils stay on the soil surface of just above or below it, and almost all the eggs are placed within an inch of the soil surface. Larvae feed on leaves, tender stems and branch tips. Insects that damage the roots directly are the most troublesome and are referred to as soil insect pests. The plant has enlarged roots called tubers which act as an energy store for the plant. Foundation or certified seed free of weevils should be used. The tubers can be variable in shape and can be red, yellow, brown, white or purple in color. These injured areas will turn brown and die. Impact of sweet potato viruses on yield Repeated cultivation of the fields in the spring will help remove alternate food sources and expose the larvae to birds and other predators. They have two longitudinal stripes and a marginal band of white hairs. Sprinkle plants with diatomaceous earth. New growth becomes stunted and leaves curl downward and pucker. Adults, known as click beetles, do not feed on the crop but oviposit on the soil near the crop, weeds or other vegetation. 225-578-4161 The head is green or brown with three stripes on each side. Recent research at the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) has shown that mixed infections of begomoviruses, such as the sweet potato leaf curl virus, and potyviruses such as the sweet potato feathery mottle virus, have a detrimental effect on sweet potato production. Oftentimes a single root may have 10 or more small holes. The tubers can range in color from yellow to red or purple depending on the variety. In North Louisiana, the spotted cucumber beetle predominates. Prevention and control White mold symptoms first appear as water-soaked lesions 14 to 20 days following row closure, depending on the cultivar and cultural practices (see white arrows on Photo 1). Good insecticide coverage of all the sweet potatoes in a pallet box or James crate is necessary. Because this species has several generations per year, a wide host range and is very mobile as adults, it is one of the most difficult soil insect pests to control. Sweet potato weevils are most numerous close to the soil surface. More than 30 viruses occur naturally in sweet potatoes worldwide. Both species feed on several different host plants including vegetable and field crops, as well as weeds. The eggs are very small, oblong-oval and white. Soil insecticides and foliar-applied insecticides will provide protection from flea beetles. The Shape of the Leaf. But then I looked out there at about 5:00 and noticed that the entire bed was horribly droopy… Several kinds of wireworms feed on sweet potatoes as well as Irish potatoes. During this time click beetles may lay eggs in sweet potato fields. Sweet potato hornworm moths are present from June to September. During this time these adults may lay eggs in sweet potato fields. Adults, known as May beetles or June beetles, are shiny reddish-brown to black and are 1/2 to 1 inch long. These become quickly covered with a white cottony growth that can spread rapidly to nearby stems and leaves if moisture is present for several hours. 155. At this point, if adults exceed threshold levels, resort to foliar applications to prevent rootworm injury. Sweet potato virus 2 is also referred to as sweet potato virus Y or sweet potato vein mosaic virus. The ARC-VOP has kept the sweet potato industry profitable over many years by running a disease-tested scheme. The adult stage is a brown and black moth that is active at night. The adult flea beetle is small (~1/16 inch long), oblong, and dark brown to bronze in color. Larvae gouge out broad, shallow areas on the root, reducing the marketability of the crop. Adult flea beetles are active during the day and can be captured in sweep nets. The first segment of the hind pair of legs is greatly enlarged and allows flea beetles to jump like fleas. Larvae gouge out narrow, shallow to deep channels on the surface of the root. Sweet potatoes infested with weevils are not only unsightly, but they taste bitter. The larvae have fat, legless, C-shaped bodies that are dirty white with a pale brown head. Defoliation late in the season will have less of an impact on yield than defoliation in the earlier stages. White grubs have a longer life cycle than cucumber beetles. Sweet potatoes actually don't need very rich soil (or other media), especially not in nitrogen. A preplant soil insecticide (Mocap, Lorsban) will provide some protection for these pests in the same way it will control rootworms and wireworms. Usually, flea beetle larvae feed on fibrous roots but, when high numbers of beetles are present, they will feed on marketable roots. Every time my plant looks like it's doing great, the leaves start turning brown and dying. The plants usually wilt and die. Because armyworms feed above ground on the plant foliage, they are fairly easy to control; however, the beet armyworm is resistant to pyrethroid insecticides and may have some tolerance to organophosphates as well (Penncap M, Imidan). Because flea beetle larvae feed primarily on the fibrous roots, high numbers must be present to cause significant root injury. This reduces the likelihood of any surviving weevils finding the beds. Larvae will chew on exposed sweet potato roots. The body is cylindrical and slender, reaching a length of 1/5 inch. Though winged forms develop periodically, most adults are wingless and are about 3/32 inch long. The sweet potato plant is a branching, creeeping vine with spirally arranged lobed, heart shaped leaves and white or lavender flowers. Admire is the most effective insecticide for controlling aphids. Leaf symptoms vary with cultivar, climatic conditions and plant age. Two banded cucumber beetles per 100 sweeps indicate the need to spray on a seven-day interval. The white, oval eggs become pale yellow before larval emergence. Therefore sweet potatoes and intact crowns should not be left in the field after harvest. Potato Leaf The banded cucumber beetle is the most common cucumber beetle attacking sweet potatoes in Louisiana, but the spotted cucumber beetle will also feed on sweet potatoes. When sweet potatoes are harvested under good conditions with a digger, all of the crop debris will be on top of the soil where it will decompose in winter. I’m starting to freak out a bit because the other day I noticed that I had a few yellow leaves – I pulled them off and didn’t worry. Feeding by adults on sweet potato foliage produces irregular holes, but the adult beetles do not consume enough foliage to injure the plants. Injury to plants is always more severe under hot, dry conditions. They are often found on the undersides of leaves and are often associated with honeydew and sooty molds. Two species of loopers may occur on sweet potato foliage, the soybean looper and the cabbage looper. Foliar applications of insecticides to control cucumber beetles will also control click beetles and June beetles. Eliminating weevils from planting material should begin with sanitation in and around the storage area as soon as it is emptied in the spring. A preplant soil insecticide (Lorsban) will provide some protection from wireworms and a layby application will extend the residual in the soil. All forms have a pair of tailpipe-like appendages known as cornicles. Larvae emerge from eggs in a few days, feed for about three weeks and pupate in the soil. Sweet Potato WeevilThe sweet potato weevil is a serious pest in the field and in storage. They flutter when disturbed. is produced commercially, as well as grown by subsistence and small-scale farmers, as an important and reliable food source. The adult of the sweet potato weevil is a snout beetle that looks antlike. Sweet potatoes are attacked by a particular species of whitefly pests, aptly named sweetpotato whiteflies (Bemisia tabaci) or silverleaf whiteflies, that look like white bumps on leaves. Mature caterpillars reach a length of 3 ½ inches. World’s largest pig farm aims to produce 2 million hogs a... Isolate the new season crop from old sweet potato lands, preferably by more than 500m. The larvae, or rootworms, eat small holes through the skin of roots and form irregular cavities under the skin. Pull off any lower leaves, leaving only one or two at the top. I have 2 raised beds. There are bright pink spots on the hind wings and abdomen. Focus particularly on wild Ipomoea species, as these harbour viruses when sweet potato is not in season. Newly emerged adults wait one to three days before leaving the root. With virus infection, cracks can also increase by between 41% and 82%, adversely affecting the quality of marketable storage roots. Viruses are detected by grafting sweet potato cuttings onto the indicator plant I. setosa in order to observe for symptoms development, followed by serological techniques such Good coverage is essential for control. The separation makes it difficult for weevils surviving in the beds to find the new fields. Answered. Larvae feed on roots, leaving shallow, narrow winding tunnels. The most common species of thrips on sweet potatoes are the eastern flower thrips and the onion thrips. This leaves nearly every weevil egg in the plant bed. The original holes are usually less than 1/4 inch deep, but may be considerably deepened by later growth of the sweet potato root. I cut another wedge off and the same thing happened. Larvae feed on the foliage for about three weeks and then they burrow into the soil where they pupate. Lenticels are minute organs used by the tuber to breathe but in waterlogged soils they become blocked and swell up. Following egg lay, the holes are covered by a grayish mass that hardens to form protective caps over developing eggs. They are active at night. Ideally, beds should also be far away from the new fields (at least 1 mile). Other control measures include the following: The science behind the virus detection Other soil insects feed on the surface of the developing root. As with cucumber beetles and white grubs, wireworms may be present in the field as larvae before planting. Healthy planting material can yield between 20t/ ha and 25t/ ha, while material infected with multiple virus infections can have a yield as low as 1t/ha to 4t/ha. Use enough water to wet the plant stems and soil surface. Apply it with a recirculating duster for good coverage. The pupal period lasts three weeks in the summer, then adults emerge to start a new generation. Devining at harvest helps to destroy crowns. Direct damage is caused by the removal of sap, and indirect damage as a disease vector. Once cutworms crawl into soil cracks, control will be difficult. Start the leaves by growing a sweet potato tuber in water, then detach the rooted slips and place each in a clean jar. A study conducted at the ARCâs Vegetable and Ornamental Plants (ARC-VOP) division to determine the impact of single, co- and mixed virus infections on the yield of sweet potato varieties, revealed that graft-inoculated plants with a mixed infection of sweet potato feathery mottle virus, and begomoviruses such as sweet potato leaf curl SÃ£o Paulo virus and sweet potato mosaic virus reduced yield by an average of 68% in the first season of planting (see Graph 1). Potato flea beetle damage on potato foliage appears as scallop-like scoops, rounded pits or shotholes originating from the underside of the potato leaf. Eggs are laid in the soil near plants in the spring when adults emerge from over-wintering sites. One of the main and easiest symptoms is that the lower leaves on the plant begin to wilt. Planting sweet potatoes into these areas will also increase the likelihood of these pests. Use registered insecticides to control whitefly and thereby minimise the spread of viruses. Wireworms. These beetles are oblong-oval and slightly flattened. The life cycle is completed in 30 days in the summer, and there are several generations a year. Sweet potato leaf curl virus is a begomovirus transmitted by the whitefly species Bemisia tabaci. Just checked the tomato plants and can’t see anything yet. The adult is about ¼ inch long. Armyworm larvae are often found on foliage during the morning, evening or during the day if it is cloudy. The head and abdomen are metallic dark blue, and the thorax and legs are red. Because of the long life cycle of white grubs, their presence in the previous season increases the likelihood of injurious numbers in the current season. Baton Rouge, LA 70803, Sweet Potato Insect Pest Management (IPM). The natural enemies of these insects usually keep them from reaching levels that may cause yield loss. Pupation occurs within the sweet potato, and this stage lasts for five to 11 days. This disease and sweet potato virus G are also transmitted by M. persicae and A. gossypii. Spintor and Confirm are effective against the beet armyworm. It’s made up of starch and water, which gives it a milky white color. Eggs are oval to spherical and dull pearly white when first deposited, turning dark just before larval emergence. za, or Dr Sunette Laurie at [email protected]. 156. Adults are fairly long lived and may be present in the field from May through September. At the end of larval development, larvae drop to the ground, where they burrow into the soil and pupate. Under such conditions the granulate cutworm may crawl into the soil cracks and feed directly on the developing root, chewing a circular hole that may be ¼ to ½ inch deep. Pupae are white and are found in the soil at a depth of 3 to 6 inches from late May to the end of July. Lesions usually first appear in the intersections between the stem and branches, or on branches and stems in contact with the soil (Photo 2). 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