Over the past few days, I have received several calls from Extension Agents about prevalence of soft fruit, vertical fruit split, small berry size and some reports of worms in the fruit. Although it is difficult to determine the exact reasons, the unusual weather patterns we have experienced this year including warm winters, low night-temperatures lingering late in the season, and excessive rain events over the past few weeks may have contributed to these issues. A number rain events during the harvest above all increase the risk of fly infestations in blueberries. Of course, spotted-wing drosophila (SWD) is our Suspect No. 1 and the most common fly pest that can infest berries. Although not as common, blueberry maggot (BBM), is another fly which is a quarantine pest and can infest berries during similar weather conditions. It is also quite possible that both SWD and BBM infestations may be present in the same field. In that case, correct identification is critical before implementing management strategies.
March 4, 2020 (Wednesday) at 2:00-3:30pm Eastern
Organic Management of Spotted-Wing Drosophila
Spotted-wing drosophila (SWD) has emerged as a devastating pest of small and stone fruits worldwide. Losses due to SWD can be as high as 100% and have been valued more than $718 million annually in the U.S. The zero tolerance for SWD in fresh fruit has led conventional growers to make preventative insecticide applications when fruit are ripe. Organic management of SWD is even more challenging due to the low number of effective OMRI-approved materials and limited understanding on the biology of SWD to translate into non-chemical management tactics. Our multi-regional team was funded by USDA-NIFA through OREI Award No. 2018-51300-28434 to develop, evaluate and implement systems-based organic management programs for SWD. This webinar will provide a comprehensive update on organic management of spotted-wing drosophila. It will summarize findings of the research conducted by our project team on organically approved strategies including behavioral, cultural, biological, and chemical tactics to manage SWD. To attend this webinar, Please register at: https://eorganic.org/node/33992
The spotted-wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) (Diptera: Drosophilidae) is an invasive and economically important pest of many soft-skinned fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, and other. Since its first detection in California in 2008, SWD spread rapidly across the United States. It was first found in Georgia in 2010 and since then this small vinegar fly has impacted the $255 million Georgia blueberry industry with crop losses of up to 20% annually. Detailed information on identification, monitoring, and management of SWD is included in this article.