“Curly top can be a devastating disease, because it survives in a wide range of weed hosts, is easily spread, and difficult to manage. The leafhopper picks up the virus while feeding on infected weeds in spring. When weeds dry down, the leafhopper migrates to irrigated gardens and rangeland. A leafhopper can spread the virus from one plant to the next in 4 hours. A leafhopper can vector the virus for the duration of its life, but it does not pass on the virus to its progeny.”- Utah State Extension Small Fruits and Vegetable IPM Advisory
“Symptoms vary according to the host plant, but in general, newly infected plants show inward or downward rolling of margins on the youngest leaves that is often associated with chlorosis, and plant drooping. Later, leaf curling and distortion increases, veins swell, and wart-like bumps appear on the undersides of leaves. Leaves are dark, thick, and brittle. The plant is stunted and eventually may die.”- Utah State Extension Small Fruits and Vegetable IPM Advisory
Organic treatment options are as follows:
- Growers in areas that face continual virus infections should plant varieties labeled as resistant. Trials in southern Utah showed that the resistant labeled varieties Rowpac, Roza, Salad Master, and Colombian, fared well.
- Plant at a higher than normal density to lower the probability that every plant will be infected, allowing some plants to survive without decimating the entire field.
- Using remay (a white mesh fabric) over plants will prevent beet leafhopper feeding.
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