The purpose of this project is to investigate the use of UV-blocking high tunnel plastics for the control of Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD). We will look at the using these plastics in conjunction with other cultural techniques in order to determine what the most effective strategy for control can be. Developing a non-chemical approach to SWD control is important for all growers of raspberries, a crop which has short harvest intervals and attracts pollinators with continuous blooming. Further, developing techniques that work specifically with high tunnels is vital for the northeast where many growers already rely on tunnels to mitigate climatic effects. Because tunnels are often already in use, adoption of these technologies may be potentially more feasible for small diversified growers.
Objective 1. To determine if SWD numbers in high tunnels are affected by plastics with different light transmittance characteristics. Funding to complete this objective is contained in the ongoing SCRI project, so additional funding is not needed or requested in this proposal’s budget. Results in 2016 will be verified in 2017.
Objective 2. To determine if SWD attraction to visual stimuli or oviposition behavior is affected by lack of UV light. Work to reach this objective will be completed by the start date of this project, and thus is not included in the requested budget. This information will be valuable, generating novel information about SWD that will affect subsequent experiments.
Objective 3. To evaluate the potential of UV blocking plastics combined with attracticidal red spheres as a push-pull system for decreasing or eliminating SWD infestation in fall-bearing raspberries. Funding for this objective is requested in the budget.
Objective 4. To evaluate decreased harvest interval as an approach to reducing or eliminating SWD infestation, in conjunction with standard raspberry production, and with the push-pull system. Funding for this objective is requested in the budget.
Objective 5. To develop non-insecticidal SWD control strategies and through extension programs introduce these strategies to small growers to promote economic and environmental sustainability. This objective is addressed in the budget.
The project for which funding is requested starts in the summer of 2018. Over the summer and fall of 2017 we prepared for the experiments that will take place in 2018, including moving plastics to set up our experimental design and planting the additional plants that will be used in 2018. We also continued to develop our monitoring techniques, refining our incubation methods for monitoring fruit infestation by Spotted Wing Drosophila to give more consistent and representative results. Trapping of adult SWD with vinegar continued.
Data during the summer and fall of 2017 have been gathered but are not analyzed yet. These include incubation counts and adult SWD vinegar trap and red sticky sphere counts. Analysis will take place during the winter of 2018. These data will guide decision-making in the design and analysis we use for the project in 2018.
The experiments for which we have funding will not be completed until 12/31/18.