Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
05.10.2010  
 

Winegrowers Start Spraying New Pest

Advisors urge action in California vineyards now to control destructive European grapevine moth

 
by Paul Franson
 
 
European Grapevine Moth
 
Photo by Jack Kelly Clark/University of California
Napa, Calif. -- With the disclosure that eggs of the dreaded European grapevine moth (Lobesia botrana) are hatching into larvae in Napa Valley, California winegrowers have started spraying pesticides -- both organic and conventional -- to counteract the invasive pest, which can destroy grapes. The insects have now been found in Sonoma, Mendocino, Solano and Fresno counties.

Dave Whitmer, Napa County’s agricultural commissioner, and Dr. Monica L. Cooper, the viticulture farm advisor and Napa County director of the University of California Cooperative Extension, are at ground zero of the invasion, which first came to light in Napa County last fall winesandvines.com/template.cfm?section=news&content=70767.

Cooper warns, “Timing of treatment is based on life stage. Organic insecticides will not kill eggs, so (they) should be applied to young larvae. Most of the conventional insecticides are larvicidal, although some also have ovicidal activity.”

And while Whitmer is charged with enforcing ag rules to protect crops, he’s considered an enlightened advisor to the industry and works closely with Cooper, her colleagues and growers. He says that eggs are hatching while older adults already have been observed flying. They emerged from their pupae in mid-February.

Cooper is evaluating the development of the eggs. “They go through a stage just before emerging called the black head or black cap stage,” Whitmer says.

Whitmer’s office has notified growers whose vineyards are already infested or within 200 meters of traps where the pests have been caught. He says, “We’re asking them to treat their plots with insecticide.”

Evaluating the pesticides

Many facets come into play with pesticide application. For one thing, many vineyards in Napa County and elsewhere are farmed organically or certified organic; most growers minimize their use of chemicals in any case.

Also, Whitmer points out that leafroll virus is a big issue in the area, and it can be spread by mealybugs. Pesticides can disrupt the biological controls for mealybugs, which have been working well.

Working with Dr. Lucia G. Varela of the UC Cooperative Extension and Statewide IPM (Integrated Pest Control) Program, Cooper has investigated the insecticides, and a PDF detailing their findings can be downloaded here .

Intrepid is the most widely used pesticide. It kills eggs and larvae and has low toxicity to beneficial predators, parasitoids and bees. It’s not approved for organic vineyards, however. Entrust, which is approved for organic growing, is not effective against eggs, and it is also medium- to highly toxic to beneficial parasitoids and bees.

Whitmer’s office also is using pheromones to attract the European moths to traps, but Whitmer encourages growers to place disruptive lures at least 30 meters away from the county traps, so as not to disrupt monitoring. The lures confuse male moths hunting for females; guidelines are being developed to use these lures more widely. “This sustainable technique is used in Europe successfully,” according to Whitmer.

Rhonda Smith, Cooper’s counterpart in Sonoma, says the ag commissioner there notifies growers if a moth is found in a trap within 1,000 meters. “If so, the vineyards are likely infested,” Smith says.

She says that some growers are starting to spray immediately, but others are setting out their own traps, which are available from farm supply dealers. “If they do find bugs on your property, it’s definitely infested, and they tell you to spray. You can monitor the clusters for signs of worms. This is the perfect time to do spray,” according to Smith. She recommends that all growers in Sonoma set out traps.

With news last week that the moth has now been found in Fresno County, Whitmer suggests it is being spread by moving equipment or materials -- the moth doesn’t have a long range. It’s especially important to clean equipment.

Napa and Sonoma already are under quarantine, although the details haven’t yet been announced. This quarantine is sure to be in effect during harvest, and growers and wineries are awaiting news of how they’ll be affected.

Also worrisome are abandoned vineyards and backyard vines in cities and elsewhere. Homeowners may be asked to consent to spraying or destroy flowers and fruit. That’s bound to raise concerns among members of the population who are already worried about chemicals in the environment.

The affected area also is home to native wild grapes in riparian areas, a concern of Napa ag commissioner Whitmer, whose office is formulating plans to deal with the invasion.

Cooper has posted extensive information about the bug and fighting it to cenapa.ucdavis.edu/Viticulture/European_Grapevine_Moth.htm.
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  
April 2015 $627 million
5%
$8,028 million
5%
April 2014 $595 million $7,623 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
April 2015 $184 million
17%
$1,890 million
15%
April 2014 $157 million $1,649 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
April 2015 406
34%
252
19%
April 2014 302 212
     
 
MORE » Released on 05.15.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2015
 
Download full report »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • May 28-30
     
    WIneMaker Annual Conference
     
  • May 28-30
     
    International Chardonnay Symposium
     
  • June 2
     
    Taste of Mendocino
     
  • June 3
     
    Napa Valley Viticultural Field Day
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: $10 Wine Would Cost $40-plus Under COOL »
 
As a Napa Valley producer, we have spent 30 years building our brands in the...
Reader: Pete Przybylinski
 
Article: Be a Sustainable Wine Ambassador »
 
A great idea. All TR employees at every responsible estate should be encouraged/required to become...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Historic Napa Winery Standing Tall Again »
 
It would be nice to know that Trost Jacking and Heavy Moving is the structural...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Women for WineSense offering scholarships »
 
This is fantastic! Women in Wine Education must find ways to continue their individual pursuit...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Historic Napa Winery Standing Tall Again »
 
Very Interesting, I'm so glad the building is successfully being saved.
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 Country Concierge
 Napa, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Harvest Intern
 Geyserville, CA
Cellar, Lab and Production
 Wine Educator
 Healdsburg, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Bussers
 Santa Rosa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Wine Specialist
 New York, NY
Sales and Marketing
 Tasting Room Represent...
 Napa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Wine And Spirits Sales...
 San Diego, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Region Manager, Artisa...
 Los Angeles, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Region Sales Manager -...
 Manchester, NH
Sales and Marketing
 Senior Brand Manager
 Napa, 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 © 2001-2015 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.