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First catch in Cayuga County

A male spotted wing drosophila (SWD) on blueberry; another likely SWD is in the background.

A male spotted wing drosophila (SWD) on blueberry; another likely SWD is in the background.

One male SWD was caught in a trap collected on July 2, 2015 in Cayuga County. The trap was set on the edge of a blueberry planting adjacent to woods by Juliet Carroll, Fruit IPM Program, and is being serviced by summer technician Tyler Sollenne. The blueberry planting is located in the northern part of Cayuga County. Three other traps at the site contained no SWD.

Because of the early arrival of SWD, blueberries should be protected from infestation by careful planning of an insecticide program as fruit begin to ripen. Other steps to manage SWD include removal from the planting of overripe fruit in which SWD larvae could be developing, mowing and weed control to reduce humidity and shading in the planting—conditions favorable for SWD. (GDD = 999, day length = 15:15)

Sustained catch in Wayne County

A female SWD was caught in Wayne County on July 2, 2015, marking a second, consecutive week of SWD trap capture at this location. Traps are set in summer raspberries and serviced by the Fruit IPM Program. Earliest fruit are ripe and more are coming on for a bountiful season. Protecting the crop with an insecticide program at this location will be essential.

SWD trap, set in summer raspberry. The trap contains an apple cider vinegar drowning solution and a specimen cup with a wheat dough bait. Traps are checked weekly.

SWD trap, set in summer raspberry. The trap contains an apple cider vinegar drowning solution and a specimen cup with a wheat dough lure.

If you are monitoring traps at your farm, it will be best to check traps daily. This way there will be fewer non-target fruit flies and other insects in your traps. Tips for identifying SWD and infested fruit are found on the SWD webpages on Cornell Fruit Resources,

SWD at second Schuyler County research site

One female SWD was caught in a trap collected on June 25, 2015 at a Schuyler County research site. The trap contained whole wheat fermenting bread dough as the lure and was located on the edge of a blueberry planting. (This site doesn’t report to the SWD distribution map.)

The New York SWD distribution map reports will come from the NY monitoring network which has traps out in 29 Counties at 48 different sites. So far only Orange County and Wayne County traps in this network have caught SWD – a single female each.

People monitoring in the SWD network are with Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Cornell Cooperative Extension. Four traps are placed at each site, two within the crop, either raspberry or blueberry, and two on the edge of the crop, though some sites may have only two traps. Below is a table with details about the SWD network trap locations.


First catch in Wayne County

A single SWD female was caught on June 24, 2015 in Wayne County at a site in our monitoring network in a trap baited with the standard fermenting whole wheat bread dough. This site is being monitored by Juliet Carroll, NYS IPM Program. Her technician Nicole Mattoon identified the lone female among the other insects in the trap. The trap was located within a summer raspberry planting. Fruit are beginning to ripen at this location. This farm also has June strawberry nearing the end of harvest, sweet cherry, peach, blueberry and day neutral strawberry. It is time to carefully plan out the best strategy for your farm to manage SWD on vulnerable crops. (GDD = 805, day length = 15:20)

SWD caught in Orange County

A single female was caught at a research site in Orange County using a baited Trécé trap, set during the week of June 15th-22nd by Peter Jentsch, entomologist, Hudson Valley Laboratory, Cornell University. The trap uses a combination lure incorporating both pheromone and kairomone—a feeding attractant. Jentsch examined red raspberry fruit from a 25-count-sample collected on Monday the 22nd (var. Caroline) and no ovipositional stings or egg breathing tubes were found. Read more on The Jentsch Lab blog.

Female SWD on a raspberry.

Female SWD on a raspberry.

These females are capable of laying eggs, so it is time to get set, get ready, and go protect your fruit crops. June strawberry harvest is winding down, so this crop may not need protection. Summer raspberry is showing ripe fruit now and will be at risk in 2015. Sweet cherry and tart cherry will be at risk, since they may ripen and be harvested over the next few weeks, consider what materials you have in your insecticide programs and make sure that SWD is covered.

The research comparing different lures for catching SWD early is ongoing at three locations in NY – comparisons are being done between a Trécé lure, a Sentry lure, a boosted lure from Trécé, the standard fermenting bread dough (used in the NY monitoring network), Cha Landolt synthetic lure, and apple cider vinegar alone. These research sites aren’t included on the SWD distribution map, so don’t be confused by Orange County still showing in gray for none found. This means there have been none found in the monitoring network sites in Orange County.

2015 SWD season underway

The 2015 trapping season is underway and first detection of SWD has occurred in Ontario, Canada and New York State. This is certainly earlier than in 2014! It is also the earliest trap catch reported for New York since this invasive arrived here in 2012. Typically, a single trap (out of four) is catching a single female, indicating counts are low. Eggs laid by those females will become adults in about a week’s time.

Low trap catch counts are a good alert for you to get ready to protect your crops. We have updated the quick reference tables for insecticides for berries, tree fruit and grapes. Step up fruit monitoring in your June strawberry fields. Be vigilant of your summer raspberry plantings and know when ripe fruit are developing. Consider protecting sweet cherry and tart cherry with an insecticide targeted at SWD in your treatment program. Keep tabs on reports from your county from our monitoring network via the SWD blog.

In NY, first catch was reported from one research site in the Finger Lakes—a single female SWD in a trap on the edge of a summer raspberry planting in Schuyler County, NY—using a commercially available Sentry lure with unscented soapy water as the drowning solution. New this season, I’ll be reporting research findings comparing different lures for trapping SWD from Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and the Finger Lakes regions of NY. These reports aren’t included on the NY distribution map.

In Ontario, Canada they have found low numbers of flies at sites in Essex, Norfolk, Oxford, and Halton counties and the Niagara and Durham region; three of the sites were in blueberry plantings. This is about three weeks earlier than normal for Ontario Province. On their ONfruit blog is an excellent photograph of what an infested strawberry will look like—note the sunken spot on the fruit surface.

Male SWD on blackberry in August.

Male SWD on blackberry in August.

Sixteen cooperators with Cornell Cooperative Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will be monitoring approximately 134 traps at 50 locations in 29 Counties in NY (Albany, Cayuga, Chemung, Clinton, Columbia, Dutchess, Erie, Essex, Genesee, Herkimer, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Orleans, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Suffolk, Tioga, Ulster, Washington, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates). No first catch reports have come in from these sites as of this writing. Our goal is to monitor SWD until first catch and report this on the blog and on the NY SWD distribution map so growers can protect their crops.

Historic look at first catch reports in NY
In 2012, first report by rearing (two week lag time) was on June 27, in June strawberry, Monroe County.
In 2012, first catch was on July 6, in sweet cherry, Yates County.
In 2013, first catch was on June 11 in woods, Ontario County.
In 2014, first catch was on July 9 in raspberry, Suffolk County.
In 2015, first catch was on June 18, in raspberry, Schuyler County.

Where else can SWD live?

A list of non-crop host plants supporting spotted wing Drosophila in North America is now available online. The guide to non-crop host plants used by spotted wing Drosophila (SWD) has just been published by Oregon State University and compiles information from collections made in Michigan, New York, Florida, California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. The article titled “Noncrop Host Plants of Spotted Wing Drosophila in North America” is a free PDF available on the Michigan State University spotted wing Drosophila factsheet website.

Fruit of tartarian honeysuckle, also considered an invasive plant in NY, can support SWD development.

Fruit of tartarian honeysuckle, also considered an invasive plant in NY, can support SWD development.

Collections of fruit in wild and agricultural habitats in North America have been analyzed for the presence of SWD larvae and the ability to rear adult SWD from the collected fruit. Researchers, including Greg Loeb, Professor, Department of Entomology, Cornell University, collected fruit and then held it to see what insects emerged. This provided definitive information on whether SWD does use a specific plant’s fruit for its habitat.

Buckthorn fruit can support populations of SWD.

Buckthorn fruit can support populations of SWD.

The plant list can be used by growers and others to consider which areas near crop plantings may pose the greatest risk as a habitat reservoir for SWD. There is little information on the effectiveness of removing these host plants from a landscape, but high densities of these suitable hosts could be expected to increase pressure from SWD, particularly on crop varieties fruiting from late summer to fall.

Dr. Loeb’s work is funded in part by the New York State Berry Growers Association. Become a NYSBGA member today!

Young scientists monitored SWD in 2014

The Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture in Westchester County, 630 Bedford Rd., Pocantico Hills, NY, engaged their young campers in a scientific exploration of spotted wing drosophila monitoring last year. Laura Perkins, Garden & Landscape Manager, and Juliana Gravinsky, their mentor, put together an appealing learning experience for their campers.

Busy hands make the whole wheat bread dough lures for the SWD traps set in berries at the Stone Barns Center, Westchester County.

Busy hands make the whole wheat bread dough lures for the SWD traps set in berries at the Stone Barns Center, Westchester County.

The Center has several fruit plantings, as well as wild, wooded edges. Traps were set in three raspberry plantings, one blueberry planting, wild raspberries (wineberries, Rubus phoenicolasius), and a currant patch next to the woods. The currants were planted for erosion control and a forest garden experiment at the edge of the woodland. This is the area where they first found SWD males on July 16, 2014.

Two days later they caught the first SWD in raspberries and by mid-August SWD populations were climbing, as seen by increasing numbers caught in the traps. By the end of August they were catching about 100 males per trap. The young scientists focused their efforts on identifying just the male SWD in their traps, using a simple key put together by Gravinsky. This population increase underlines why late season berries are at such high risk from SWD.

Juliana Gravinsky, Stone Barns Center, teached young scientists how to identify SWD males that might be caught in their monitoring traps set in their berry plantings.

Juliana Gravinsky, Stone Barns Center, teaches young scientists how to identify SWD males that might be caught in the monitoring traps they set in their berry plantings.

A taste of the realities of scientific research occurred when some traps were knocked over and eaten by varmints. We’ve found in our research that skunks, raccoons, and perhaps other wildlife are attracted to the vinegar drowning solution and the wheat dough bait. Trapping sites near woods are particularly prone to predation. Sometimes human intervention can be the culprit for lost traps – setting up for an event at the Stone Barns Center caused a few traps to be inadvertently spilled.

We certainly appreciated the contributions the Stone Barns Center made to our monitoring efforts last year and hope that some of the children will grow up to be entomologists, horticulturists, scientists or farmers!

Phone to Support Ag IPM

We need your help to restore Ag IPM funding to the NYS IPM Program. This is a critical moment, and a phone call from you could make all the difference.

Here is an update from Julie Suarez, Assistant Dean of Governmental & Community Relations, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, regarding our situation in Albany.  I want to reiterate our request in this email—a call for action to any of you who are willing and able to seek support from your state representatives.

The back story, as we understand it, is that the Senate wanted to add $500,000 to the Agricultural IPM budget, to restore us to the historical $1million dollar level.  However, that intention was not included in the Senate’s budget that was released earlier this week. We are told that some people were confused by the Community IPM funding ($550,000) that was included in the Senate budget, and thought that Ag was taken care of.

What you can do:

  1. Call your Senate and Assembly representatives. Constituents matter.

-Explain who you are, and your role in agriculture
-Thank them for their support of Agriculture
-Say something like “Please restore agricultural IPM funding in the Ag and Markets budget to $1million by adding $500K to the governor’s proposed budget.”  This aligns with the request made in a letter from Senators Funke, Ritchie, Ortt, Gallivan, Marchione, O’Mara, Larkin and Nozzolio.
*We are told that bringing up Community IPM might just further confuse the issue, so please stick with Ag IPM.

  1. Pass this request to others who care about agricultural IPM, so they can call too.

NYS Senate Switchboard (ask for your Senator’s office):  518-455-2800 

NYS Assembly’s Public Information line:  518-455-4218

Thank you so much for your support!
Juliet E. Carroll
Fruit IPM Coordinator, NYS IPM Program,
Cornell University
Cornell Cooperative Extension provides equal program & employment opportunity

Take Action to Support Ag IPM

ipm_box_logo_322GREAT NEWS from Dr. Jennifer Grant, NYS IPM Program Director! The NY Farm Bureau has included the NYS IPM Program on their e-advocacy site—making it very easy for you and others to voice your support for restoring New York State’s Agricultural IPM funding to previous levels. Funding for Agricultural IPM got cut by 50% in 2010, and is now seeking a return to prior year’s budgets.

Farmers have relied upon Integrated Pest Management (IPM), for decades. With IPM farmers target pests and diseases in an efficient, profitable, and environmentally sensitive manner by utilizing the best and latest innovations in research and extension.  IPM is working for you by bringing you the SWD trap network and blog reports.

Please help! Simply go to the Farm Bureau’s Action Alert website, select the delivery method, fill in your contact information, and submit—it’s that easy. Please take a moment to support this important program in the 2015-16 State Budget.

For those who are able to engage in advocacy, we would greatly appreciate your support, and your passing this message onto others. You may also be interested in other action alerts from Farm Bureau.

Thank you!

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