Here is the newest issue of Massachusetts Berry Notes from the UMass Extension Fruit Team.

Massachusetts IPM Berry Blast

June 14, 2016

 Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) Notice #1
Spotted Wind Drosophila
Reports have come in from Suffolk County (Long Island) and Ontario County (Upstate) New York and from the Niagara Region of Ontario have reported their first trap captures of Spotted Wing Drosophila for 2016.  This is approximately one month earlier than in previous years.  It is not a sustained capture, yet.  But, does indicate that the mild winter may lead to an earlier than expected SWD management season.
Male SWD left, female SWD rightThe UMass Extension Vegetable & Fruit IPM team is monitoring 9 sites across the state for Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) this year and is receiving trapping information from surrounding states on a weekly basis.  Some traps were deployed last week and the remainder are going out this week.  No SWD have been caught as of 6/14/16.  Traps will be checked weekly or biweekly throughout the summer to monitor the development of this pest and inform alerts that will go out to fruit and vegetable growers and others. Detailed updates will be distributed via this newsletter (IPM Berry Blast), but will also be available in a more abbreviated form via different channels including Facebook and twitter.
SWD infested blueberry fruitSWD on Raspberry Fruit
Where to find information and updates: 
To review information on SWD ID and Biology, how to monitor for SWD (traps and baits), and the current management recommendations, go to:

(photos courtesy of Dr. Alan Eaton, UNH Extension)

Basic recommendations for SWD management:
  • Manage Canopy Environment: Keep rows of raspberries narrow at the base (18") and thin canes to allow 6" between canes if possible to allow for good air circulation and light penetration.  In blueberries, eliminate branches below knee high (on mature bushes) that cast shade on the ground and open the upper canopy to allow for good air circulation and light penetration. This will improve spray penetration and efficacy, too.  In other berry crops, maintain an open canopy as much as possible
  • Monitor with traps: Growers should set out and monitor traps in their fields to know what is happening on their farms by mid June or before susceptible fruit begins to color.  See information about how to set up traps here.
  • Good Harvest Practices: Remember to harvest frequently (daily if possible), and thoroughly and avoid allowing fruit to fall to the ground if possible.
  • Postharvest Fruit Handling: Transport harvested fruit as quickly as possible to refrigeration.
  • Spray Practices: Spray recommended materials (organic or conventional) on a tight schedule (5-7 days) once crop is ripening and SWD have been confirmed at or near the crop. Some recommend spraying in the evening to increase residual efficacy because some materials degrade more quickly in sunlight. SWD may also be more active in the evening especially when the weather is very hot. Also, it is recommended to add 2# of sugar per 100 gallons of spray solution to all materials except pyrethroids (which don't show increased efficacy from this addition).  See here for current list (from Cornell Univ.) of labeled spray materials for SWD.
  • Fruit Sampling: Sample fruit regularly during harvest and do salt flotation test to determine SWD larval presence and density.  See excellent how-to video at
Trap capture information and other updates will be included in future IPM Berry Blasts.

Archived IPM Berry Blasts are available at the UMass Extension Fruitadvisor website.
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