Be Ready for Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus Next Season

Clint Thompson Peanuts

UGA photo/Tomato spotted wilt virus dates back 40 years to when it was first discovered in peanuts in Texas. It was later found in Louisiana and Alabama and was detected as a major problem in Georgia-grown peanuts, vegetables and tobacco in the 1990s.

Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV) of peanuts was problematic for growers this year. While it is too late to do something about TSWV this year, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension plant pathologist Bob Kemerait encourages producers to take note and be prepared for next planting season.

“Recognize that Tomato spotted wilt is really bad this year. There’s nothing you can do about it now, but my advice is for growers to take note of spotted wilt and make sure when you get a chance next year to do something about it,” Kemerait said. “Spotted wilt this year is a big problem, in large part, because we had stand issues, seed quality issues; we didn’t get the stands we wanted. That hurt. That made spotted wilt worse. But at the same time, growers should look and say, if they’ve got more spotted wilt this year than they wanted, look at Peanut RX. Consider the planting dates or what variety. What insecticide did they use in furrow? What was their seeding rate? If they look and they say I’ve got more spotted wilt this year than I think I should have had, what are some things I can do? If they follow Peanut Rx, that’ll give them some examples of how to reduce the risk.”

TSWV is vectored by thrips, tiny insects that can spread the virus by feeding on infected plants. Infected thrips transmit the virus when they move to feed on healthy plants. The virus can dwarf plants and cause significant reductions in peanut yields.

TSWV dates back 40 years to when it was first discovered in peanuts in Texas. It was later found in Louisiana and Alabama and was detected as a major problem in Georgia-grown peanuts, vegetables and tobacco in the 1990s.

For more information about TSWV, see tswv.caes.uga.edu.

About the Author
Clint Thompson

Clint Thompson

Multimedia Journalist for AgNet Media Inc.