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  
September 2014 $575 million
5%
$7,743 million
6%
September 2013 $550 million $7,311 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
September 2014 $163 million
16%
$1,708 million
11%
September 2013 $141 million $1,538 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
September 2014 166
14%
226
18%
September 2013 145 192
     
 
MORE » Released on 10.15.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • November 1-2
     
    A Wine & Food Affair
     
  • November 1-2
     
    Temecula Harvest Celebration Barrel Tasting
     
  • November 5
     
    Single Vineyard Night
     
  • November 5-6
     
    Southeastern United Wine & Grape Symposium
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: What's Your Winery's IP Worth? »
 
If you would like more information on this seminar please visit The Seminar Group's website....
Reader: Danielle Bingham
 
Article: DtC Is Lifeblood of Wineries, Banker Says »
 
Seems like another locical option would be to have more small niche distrbutors. Consolidation of...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Tasting Wine From PD-Resistant Grapes »
 
Congratulations Andy! Lots of grapebreeders and southern growers will be looking through the catalogs. i...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: The 'Sideways' Effect »
 
Thank you for this research that confirms what many thought about the pinot noir effect....
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Fine for Volunteer Labor Makes Wineries Wary »
 
This is so incredibly asinine. And my taxes go to help fund these over-reaches? No...
Reader: Philburtonj
 
 


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
 Sales & Marketing Coor...
 Oakville, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Cellarmaster
 Clermont, FL
Winemaking and Production
 Receiver Associate
 Wichita, KS
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Cheese & Charcuterie S...
 St. Helena, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Lab Tech I
 Oakville, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Southern California Sa...
 Southern California, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Visitor's Center Assoc...
 Oakville, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Bottling Line Lead
 Guerneville, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Events Coordinator
 Oakville, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Ecommerce, Pr And Logi...
 Yountville, CA
Sales and Marketing
 
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.