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  
May 2015 $607 million
7%
$8,068 million
5%
May 2014 $569 million $7,651 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
May 2015 $141 million
4%
$1,896 million
14%
May 2014 $135 million $1,657 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
May 2015 355
15%
256
20%
May 2014 308 213
     
 
MORE » Released on 06.15.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2015
 
Download full report »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • July 7
     
    Sanitation Seminar, Napa
     
  • July 8
     
    Sanitation Seminar, Greenfield
     
  • July 9
     
    Sanitation Seminar, Solvang
     
  • July 9-10
     
    Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: B.C. Eyes New Wine Appellation Rules »
 
Slight misquote or perhaps I misspoke so I will clarify the thought: People were not...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Pull Red Blotch Vines, Get Paid »
 
Maybe this would be a good time for the USDA to allocate some of its...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Wine E-commerce Remains a Niche »
 
This shouldn't be a surprise. E-commerce is only about 5-7% of overall retail across the...
Reader: Barbara Insel
 
Article: Pull Red Blotch Vines, Get Paid »
 
I worked for a year with USDA in Washington to get Red Blotch identified as...
Reader: Bob Dempel
 
Article: Pull Red Blotch Vines, Get Paid »
 
I'll bet anyone in Napa and Sonoma counties I can find GRBaV in their red...
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 »
2015 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
 Wine Merchant
 Los Olivos, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Tasting Room Associate
 Healdsburg, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Harvest Cellar Worker
 Santa Maria, CA
Cellar, Lab and Production
 Ag Business Specialist
 Paso Robles, CA
Vineyards
 Wine Club & E-Commerce...
 Los Gatos, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Warehouse Manager
 Paso Robles, CA
Cellar, Lab and Production
 Sales Representative, ...
 New Haven, CT
Sales and Marketing
 Copywriter - Bounty Hu...
 Napa, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Human Resources Manage...
 Santa Rosa, CA
General Administration and
 Facilities Manager
 Napa, CA
Cellar, Lab 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 © 2001-2015 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.