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Area-wide Incidence of Whiteflies and CYSDV in Desert Melons (Jul. 13, 2011)

Growers are beginning to prepare local fields for fall melons, and with that comes the threat of cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus (CYSDV). The virus was first identified in desert melons in the fall of 2006 where widespread infection on cantaloupes, honeydews and other melons cost growers a significant portion of their crops. USDA statistics suggest that fall melon yields in Arizona were 30% lower in 2008 and 2009 compared with previous years. This yield reduction is likely due in part to the impact of CYSDV. Over the past five years we have been studying the virus and trying to understand its epidemiology and impact on fall melon production. In addition, we continue to develop new information on control of the vector of CYSDV (Bemisia whitefly adults). Whitefly numbers this spring and summer have been relatively light, and the incidence of CYSDV on spring melons was relatively low. Given the aggressive management programs that PCAs and growers are now using, it will be interesting to see how CYSDV impacts melons this fall. Our research to date suggests that the area-wide incidence of CYSDV may be light-moderate this fall. However, based on what we don't know about the virus-vector relationship, an accurate prediction of CYSDV this fall is not possible. To view a summarized report of our research that details our findings on the Area-wide Incidence of Whiteflies and CYSDV in Desert Melons, go to CYSDV Melons.

CYSDV in Melons

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For questions or comments on any of the topics please contact Marco Pena at the Yuma Agricultural Center.
College of Agriculture, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

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