Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
03.17.2010  
 

Asian Fly Detected in Northwest Vineyards

Grapegrowers look out for spotted-wing drosophila, which attacks ripe winegrapes

 
by Peter Mitham
 
 
spotted-wing drosophila
 
The spotted-wing drosophila's fearsome saw-toothed ovipositor is what makes it so damaging to grapes and other fruit.

Corvallis, Ore.--Northwest grapegrowers are preparing to fight new invasive pests threatening their vineyards. One of the least understood of these invaders is spotted-wing drosophila (D. suzukii), a species native to Asia that was initially reported in California in 2008.

Grapegrowers in Oregon’s Upper Willamette Valley discovered the insect in Pinot Noir grapes last year, and the fly was also detected in a non-commercial winegrape vineyard south of Abbotsford, British Columbia.
The discoveries on grapes and a variety of field berries and stone fruits have brought together researchers from California, Oregon and Washington state as well as federal and provincial scientists in British Columbia to tackle what could be a significant crop pest.

Unlike D. melanogaster and other, more familiar fruit flies that infest damaged and rotting fruit, D. suzukii attacks ripe fruit. Its hosts of choice are thin-skinned fruits which it attacks not opportunistically, through pre-existing lesions in the fruit, but with the assistance of a saw-like ovipositor that cuts through the skin of the fruit. It deposits its eggs, which frequently go undetected until the fruit collapses in on itself from rot.

Unfortunately, most of the research on the pest to date comes from Japan, leaving researchers scrambling to figure out how the fly may adapt to North America. The climate of the Pacific Northwest may limit it to just four generations per year by some counts, though it’s known to be a prolific parent in Japan with upwards of 13 generations per year.

Vaughn Walton, an entomologist with Oregon State University, said the pest is known to be in winegrape vineyards in Japan, but the cultivars are not ones widely planted in North America. Whether grapes are at significant risk is another question.

More facts needed

“We don’t have any real facts at this stage,” Walton said. “The current status is that we’re aware of it, but I don’t know of many growers that have had any real issues.”

Walton told Wines & Vines that one grower may have had grapes rejected on account of damage from the pest; that’s not been confirmed. There are also reports the fly may have successfully overwintered in some vineyards, but that also requires confirmation.

Still, researchers are not resting easy.

Surveillance is being ramped up across the Northwest this year, with Oregon State University set to launch tools that will track fly counts across the state on a weekly basis. B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Lands staff will also be monitoring Fraser Valley vineyards to determine if D. suzukii poses a significant threat.

Walton said growers may face problems in years where grapes require extended hangtime. The ripe fruit will be a prime target for the flies, and the longer it’s on the vine, the greater the chance it will attract their attention.
On the other hand, cooler temperatures late in the season may inhibit the flies, which thrive at temperatures between 77º and 86ºF (25-30ºC).

“The flies may not develop that quickly, which in turn means that the berries may not spoil that quickly, either,” Walton said.

Fruit flies aren’t the only pests threatening Oregon’s $68 million grape crop
Researchers are also keeping an eye out for European grapevine moth, which already has some Napa Valley vineyards under quarantine. The fear is it may spread to Oregon vineyards.

The biggest focus of researchers are mealybugs, which are suspected to be playing a role in the spread of grapevine leafroll virus in southern and eastern Oregon.
 

 

SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
June 2014 $562 million
5%
$7,549 million
6%
June 2013 $535 million $7,094 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
June 2014 $87 million
17%
$1,669 million
11%
June 2013 $74 million $1,510 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
June 2014 300
34%
220
21%
June 2013 224 182
     
 
MORE » Released on 07.15.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wines & Vines
Packaging Conference
 
Learn More »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • July 29
     
    Organic Winegrowing Conference
     
  • July 30
     
    Sweet and Fortified Wine Association Meeting
     
  • July 30 - August 1
     
    Indy International Wine Competition
     
  • August 1-3
     
    West of West Festival
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Wineries May Lose Internet Domain Dispute »
 
All these arguments could be levied by any industry associated with any gTLD, new or...
Reader: Doug Barnett
 
Article: Wineries May Lose Internet Domain Dispute »
 
Do brands get hijacked now? Even though .wine does not yet exist, are there false...
Reader: Larry Chandler
 
Article: Resistant Weeds Threaten Vineyards »
 
Roundup is not benign. It does not always break down in a day or two...
Reader: Robert Rex
 
Article: Resistant Weeds Threaten Vineyards »
 
Mitigating water use in the vineyard in the first place is also an applicable tactic....
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Resistant Weeds Threaten Vineyards »
 
Having managed vineyards that have used both approaches, I would say that a diverse approach...
Reader: Guest
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2014 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Tasting Room Associate
 Fairfield, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Controller
 San Rafael, CA
Finance
 Area Sales Manager - S...
 Northern San Diego Or Orange Counties, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Merchandising Coordina...
 Glen Ellen, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Hospitality & Membersh...
 Napa, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Warehouse Operations A...
 Redwood City, CA
General Administration and
 Retail Sales Professio...
 Redwood City, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Retail Wine Sales
 Hollywood, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Product Integrity Spec...
 Modesto, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Seasonal Harvest Cella...
 St. Helena, CA
Winemaking and Production
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2014 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.