Spotted wing Drosophila webinar for Michigan sweet and tart cherry growers

Spotted wing Drosophila webinar on Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, will provide an in-depth discussion to develop an industry approach to manage the invasive fruit fly pest in Michigan cherries.

Michigan State University Extension and MSU AgBioResearch, along with the Michigan Cherry Committee, are hosting an online Zoom webinar on Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. to learn about the invasive fruit fly pest spotted wing Drosophila in both sweet and tart cherries. There will be an in-depth discussion to develop an industry approach to manage spotted wing Drosophila in Michigan cherries. The full agenda can be found at the bottom of this article.

You can register online for the webinar at: Spotted Wing Drosophila Summit Webinar Registration. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. The online connection will be live from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. You will be able to submit your questions and comments via the Zoom connection. We suggest you go online at 8:15 a.m. to make sure your connection is working correctly.

If you want to join the meeting in person at the Northwest Michigan Horticulture Research Center in Traverse City, Michigan, please RSVP to Jenn Goodrich at 231-946-1510 or Lunch will be provided for those attending at the Northwest Michigan Horticulture Research Center.

Background information about spotted wing Drosophila and Michigan cherries

Since the arrival of spotted wing Drosophila in Michigan in 2010, it has become a serious pest for many Michigan fruit crops including tart and sweet cherries. The results from our 2015 efficacy trials were particularly troubling as all cherry orchards under spotted wing Drosophila spray programs in these trials had cherry fruit that were infested with spotted wing Drosophila larvae. If spotted wing Drosophila populations are high, growers will be challenged to control spotted wing Drosophila in the field, which will have dire impacts on the Michigan cherry industry.

We learned from grower experiences this season that this scenario is actual as fruit were dumped as a result of spotted wing Drosophila infestation. Additionally, our field trials show we will need to spray for spotted wing Drosophila for a longer period during the field season to ensure processors are delivered cherries that meet the mandated zero-tolerance for larvae in fruit. Increased insecticide applications may impact export sales because other countries have lower maximum residue limits than the United States. Furthermore, applications that target spotted wing Drosophila may greatly increase cherry pest management programs.

Consequently, this pest has the potential to profoundly disrupt the economic viability of the Michigan cherry industry. The Michigan cherry industry came together in November 2014 to discuss this important invasive pest, and to continue our proactive approach to address the challenges of this pest, we need to meet again this fall to develop an industry-wide cooperative strategic plan for 2016.

On Nov. 20, we will hear from our MSU research team on the current developments in spotted wing Drosophila research and outreach programming from this season. We will also invite other researchers and growers from other cherry growing regions to hear how they are producing spotted wing Drosophila-free fruit. The goal of the day will be to develop a strategic plan for controlling spotted wing Drosophila in Michigan cherries that incorporates grower, consultant and processor needs to facilitate future research priorities. We hope you will be able to attend this critically important meeting.

Spotted Wing Drosophila Summit agenda

  • 8:30-8:40 a.m. – Welcome and goals for the SWD Summit
    Nikki Rothwell, MSU Extension, and Phil Korson, Cherry Marketing Institute
  • 8:40-8:45 a.m. – Game plan for the day’s discussion
    Bob Tritten, MSU Extension
  • 8:45-9:15 a.m. – Overview of Basic Biology and Life Cycle of Spotted Wing Drosophila
    Julianna Wilson, MSU Department of Entomology
  • 9:15-9:45 a.m. – The Status of SWD in Berry Crops: What We Have Learned Thus Far
    Rufus Isaacs, MSU Department of Entomology
  • 9:45-10:15 a.m. – Will SWD Destroy the Fall Raspberry Industry in Michigan?
    Mark Longstroth, MSU Extension
  • 10:15-10:30 a.m. – Break
  • 10:30-11 a.m. – Effectiveness of SWD Traps and Baits
    Larry Gut, MSU Department of Entomology
  • 11-11:30 a.m. – How Rainfall Impacts Insecticide Performance on SWD in Cherries
    John Wise, MSU Department of Entomology
  • 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Lunch
  • 12:30-1:15 p.m. – What We Learned About SWD in NW Michigan Cherries in 2015
    Nikki Rothwell, MSU Extension
  • 1:15-1:45 p.m. – 2015 Tart Cherry Grower Spray Programs for SW
    Emily Pochubay, MSU Extension
  • 1:45-2 p.m. – Industry Feedback on New MRL Tools
    Julianna Wilson, MSU Department of Entomology
  • 2-2:15 p.m. – Break
  • 2:15 p.m. – Breakout Session: Brainstorm 2015 SWD challenges and how the MSU fruit team can provide support to growers, processors and consultants to address these concerns in 2016. A fruit team researcher and educator will facilitate small group discussions and record notes for the group.
  • 3-3:45 p.m. – Share and discuss group feedback
  • 3:45-4 p.m. – Final comments
  • 4 p.m. – Social hour

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