- Fruits: berries (other), berries (blueberries), berries (brambles), cherries, berries (strawberries)
- Crop Production: application rate management
- Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research
- Farm Business Management: whole farm planning
- Pest Management: biorational pesticides, chemical control, eradication, field monitoring/scouting, integrated pest management, prevention, traps
- Production Systems: holistic management, organic agriculture
- Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures
Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) represents a significant and real-time threat to the livelihood of small fruit growers in the USA. SWD is a recently established invasive pest present in 45 states, including all Northeastern states, decimating small fruit crop yield and quality. Losses are estimated to potentially reach $718 million annually. SWD attacks healthy, intact blueberries, caneberries, strawberries, and cherries by laying eggs in ripening fruit before harvest. Emerging maggots feed in the fruit causing rapid quality decline and consumer rejection. Threatened small fruit production in the Northeast alone includes 70,000 acres. Low thresholds for damage and infestation in fresh markets and zero tolerance for infested fruit for exportation have led some growers to either cease production or begin applying weekly or semi-weekly preventative insecticide applications in the absence of sensitive monitoring tools. The current cost increase for controlling spotted wing drosophila is $183/acre (http://swd.ces.ncsu.edu/swd-impacts-2014/). This approach is not ecologically or economically sustainable. Alternative strategies for managing SWD in commercial small fruit operations that reduce the need for frequent insecticide applications, prevent outbreaks of secondary pests, and improve ecosystem services provided by beneficial arthropods are critically needed.
Performance targets from proposal:
Fifty small fruit farmers in the Northeast will integrate attracticidal spheres to aid in management of SWD on an average of 2 acres per farm. Attracticidal sphere adoption will result in up to 4 fewer insecticide applications per season for a savings of $91/acre in small fruit plantings.