Grand Rapids, Mich., small fruit regional report – Aug. 7, 2013

Spotted wing Drosophila has started moving into Mecosta County, affecting summer raspberries, blueberries and day-neutral strawberries.

Small berry producers in Mecosta County and neighboring counties need to take precautions against the presence of spotted wing Drosophila (SWD) in their crops. Monitoring for the presence of SWD flies and fruit inspection in search of symptoms of SWD larval infestation are critical to take the appropriate pest control actions to prevent significant economic losses.

As the small fruit harvest reaches its peak for blueberries and summer raspberries, the impact of SWD and other secondary pest problems start taking its toll on the economy of small fruit growers. So far, in blueberries SWD fruit contamination at harvest has created problems for growers that failed to have an effective pest control. Fruit loads have been rejected or downgraded with the resulting impact on the profit of the grower. The good news is that the number of cases of growers suffering losses due to SWD fruit infestations is low in comparison to the 2012 harvest season. Even in cases where growers are having fruit load rejections, the amount of fruit rejected is smaller in comparison with 2012.

The small fruit team from Michigan State University Extension is working to keep growers updated on the progress of the SWD population dynamics in most counties that are major small fruit production area. Following this monitoring efforts, up until the end of July most of the SWD population dynamics were centered in the area comprised of Berrien, Van Buren, Allegan, Ottawa and Kent counties. However, during the first week of August we are finding small pockets of SWD infestation in Mecosta County in strawberries and raspberries. As in previous years, we are expecting SWD will disperse through counties like Montcalm and Oceana as more blueberry and raspberry fields start harvesting.

2013 Twilight Workshop for raspberry IPM and crop management

To keep up with the progress of SWD and other secondary pest problems in raspberries, we are conducting an IPM Twilight Meeting in Hudsonville, Mich., on Aug. 9, 2013. The workshop will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the De Lange’s Berry Red Berry Farm in Hudsonville, Mich. (5723 Port Sheldon Street, Hudsonville, MI 49426; phone 616-875-7117). This workshop has been developed for fruit growers, scouts and crop consultants to help them integrate SWD management into IPM programs, provide updates on raspberry disease management, raspberry varieties and crop management issues in general.

The agenda includes the following:

6 p.m. – Registration and Welcome (Carlos Garcia, MSU Extension)

6:20 p.m. – SWD, recent advances on SWD research and control (Rufus Isaacs, MSU Department of Entomology)

7 p.m. – Raspberry varieties and crop management updates (Eric Hanson, MSU Department of Horticulture)

7:30 p.m. – Raspberry Disease Management Update (Annemiek Schilder, MSU Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, and Carlos Garcia, MSU Extension)

There is no fee for attending this workshop, but a preregistration is required so we know the number of handouts needed for the meeting. Contact or email Judy Hanson at 616-994-4548 or to register.

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