What's HOT in Grape Production and Research

(Updated 1 Jue 2016)

Proposed pollinator protection plan

Honey bees have been at greater risk in recent years because of Colony Collapse Disorder, which results from a combination of stress factors.  In order to address this, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has created a draft plan to protect pollinators from pesticides has been developed.  In preparation for a June meeting in Richmond, grower, extension agent and beekeeper feedback is requested.  The draft plan is linked here.  A web application is mentioned in the text; this DriftWatch site is available here.  Please send your thoughts on this proposed program to Doug Pfeiffer (dgpfeiff at vt.edu) by June 12.  Any comments are appreciated!

Spotted wing drosophila:  A new invasive pest of small fruit crops and vineyards moved through Virginia in late summer 2011.  Spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, differs from other species of vinegar or pomace flies in that it lays eggs in ripening fruit on the vine or plant, rather than in overripe or rotting fruit material.  This has the potential to be a major problem for growers of soft-fruited crops.  More information is posted in a SWD page in the Virginia Fruit web site.  Hear an Adobe Presenter presentation on spotted wing drosophila in vineyard and berry crops.

Brown marmorated stink bug and Virginia fruit: See StopBMSB.org web site  A new addition to the stink bug complex is brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål).  Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) has recently been introduced from Asia into the northeastern U.S.  It was first detected in 1998 in Allentown, Pennsylvania (see NAPIS map; this map underrepresents the situation in Virginia).  It was later found in New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware, and in October 2004 it was found in Montgomery County, Virginia, and in Tennessee in 2008.  Injury in tree fruits can be severe, exceeding 25% (individual blocks have been estimated to have much higher levels of fruit injury).  Externally, fruit may have multiple reddish dents at feeding sites, resembling hail strikes.  Upon cutting into fruit, corky areas are seen in the flesh of the fruit.  In vineyards, a unique problem is posed.  Stink bugs may be harvested along with clusters and be transported to the winery in lugs or bins, where the wine can be imparted with a "stink bug taint".  Research is underway to test short-residual insecticides to knock down BMSB from clusters at harvest.  For further information and images, see the Brown marmorated stink bug page.  A working group on organic management of BMSB has been established, with their own web site.  There is opportunity to participate in grower forums.  Listen to Adobe Presenter presentation on BMSB in vineyards and caneberries (14 min.).

Mating disruption for grape root borer now available:  Grape root borer has been a difficult pest to control, and has been increasing in severity in Virginia vineyards.  A mating disruption product, Isomate GRB, is now registered.  The label is available (Great Lakes IPM), as is the MSDS (Pacific Biocontrol).  The rope-style pheromone dispensers should be placed in the last week of June, at a rate of 100 ropes per acre.

A new winegrape production guide, edited by Tony Wolf, is now available through NRAES, entitled Winegrape Production Guide for Eastern North AmericaThis comprehensive reference will be used by novice and experienced growers, crop advisors, service providers, educators, communicators, and students. It provides information on all aspects of wine grape culture including site selection and preparation, trellising and pruning, disease and pest identification, nutrient management, irrigation, pesticide application, harvesting, vineyard cost and returns, and grape sales.  This 336-page guide is available at the NRAES web site for $75.00. 

The College of Agriculture and Life Science at Virginia Tech has established a new on-line Master's in Agriculture and Life Sciences.   This curriculum has been approved by the State Council of Higher Education and is now accepting applications for Fall semester 2007.  In this program, you can earn a master's degree in agriculture while working in your current job - emphasis is on education for place-bound learners, and all courses are taken on-line.  In addition to a core area, there are courses offered in five areas of concentration: (1) Biosecurity, Bioregulations and Public Health, (2) Education, (3) Environmental Science, (4) Food Safety, and (5) Plant Science and Pest Management.  In addition to course work, the student completes a project decided upon in consultation with your major advisor.  Lists of courses within each concentration may be found in the web site linked above.  This program was recently the subject of an interview by Jeff Ishee with Virginia Public Televsion's Virginia Farming.  For more information, contact Doug Pfeiffer (dgpfeiff at vt.edu) or Sharon Proffitt (sproffit at vt.edu) (see 2008-2009 Extended Campus tuition rates).

Winchester, VA.

Imidan restrictions in vineyards:

There has been confusion regarding the advisability of the use of Imidan in vineyards.  In 2006, the Restricted Entry Interval (REI) was extended to 14 days.  This makes Imidan impractical for most grape growers to use.  In 2007, a label is posted on the newly reformatted CDMS web site, a source of pesticide labels and material safety data sheets.  In some of these labels, a REI of 24 hours is given.  This has been the source of confusion in the status of the REI for this product.  This is an outdated label that is kept online by CDMS because of certain requirements in California.  It refers to the 70W formulation without water soluble bags.  Although the old label is still posted, it is no longer supported by Gowan.  Only the formulation in water soluble bags is supported.    The REI of 14 days for phosmet remains in effect.  Virginia grape growers will be notified if there is a possibility of this changing, particularly if there is an opportunity for public input.

Endosulfan Phaseout:
In 2010, EPA issued a cancellation schedule for existing uses of endosulfanCrop Group A (including plum and prune, nectarine (CA only), strawberry (annual), tart cherry) uses ended 31 July 2012 .  Other uses not listed in other categories (including grape).  Crop Group B (Stone fruits not listed in Group A, including Nectarine (non-CA), peaches, and sweet cherry) uses ended 31 July 2012.  Crop Group C uses end 31 July 2013: Pear.  Crop Group D uses end 31 July 2014: Florida uses.  Crop Group E uses will end 31 July 2015: Apple, blueberry.  Crop Group F uses end 31 July 2016: Strawberry (perennial).  See the complete list here.

Updates on FQPA and Pesticide Registrations:

azinphosmethyl: Bayer agrees to Guthion phase-outs: Bayer has agreed to reducing fruit crops listed on the Guthion label.  There are 3 categories of label changes: (1) phased-out registrations (cancelled 8/31/05, not to be used after 12/31/05): nectarine, peach, and caneberries. (2) time-limited registrations (cancelled 12/31/05 unless new data justify continuation): apple, blueberry, cherry, and pear; (3) cancelled registrations: grape, plum, quince, and strawberry (not to be sold after 1 September 2002; existing stocks may be used).  On 7 Dec 2005, EPA announced the availability of its azinphosmethyl ecological risk assessment and grower impact assessment (posted at http://www.regulations.gov; search on the docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0061).  Comments must be received on or before 6 Feb 2006.  Further information will be posted here when available.

carbaryl - EPA announces Interim Reregistration Eligibility Decision (IRED - this pdf exceeds 300p. See also 6-page fact sheet) for carbaryl on 10/27/04.  On 30 March 2005, National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) requested that EPA revoke all tolerances for carbaryl.  NRDC's letter to EPA is posted (html).  EPA's assessment of human health and environmental risks of carbaryl, and finding on whether the tolerances for carbaryl comply with the safety standard in FFDCA section 408, as amended by the FQPA, are contained in the IRED document for carbaryl, which is available on EPA's website at http://www.epa.gov/edocket, under docket number OPP-2003-0376. (More information on risk assessment is available).  The e-docket for this issue has several items listed.  On 13 Oct 06, EPA announced a petition from Washington Toxics has been received to cancel all tolerances of carbaryl.   In the Regulations.gov page, search on ID no. EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0801.  Following that link, one can also find a link to the carbaryl IRED (Interim Reregistration Eligibility Decision).  Public comments are requested and must be received by 13 Nov 06.

Diazinon uses cancelled by Syngenta, but... : IRED of July 31, 2002, proposed that on most crops where use would be continued, applications would be limited to one per growing season. Grape uses would be cancelled.  A single dormant use is also proposed for cherry and pear, limited to every other year (unless pest pressure required annual application).  Use on apple would be limited to woolly apple aphid, once a year.  REI in apple, apricot, cherry, nectarine, peach, pear, plums would be 4 days; caneberries, blueberries and strawberries would be 5 days.  Diazinion is highly toxic to birds.  Granular formulations, the source of most bird mortality, would be cancelled. These proposed changes have not been adopted into label changes; current labeling will remain in effect at least until July 31, 2004. May 30, 2003 Syngenta requests cancellations of all uses, effective June 30, 2003. Syngenta may not distribute after August 31.  Retail supplies may be sold until supplies exhausted.  However, Makhteshim-Agan intends to maintain all allowable uses.

endosulfan - On 29 Apr 09, EPA announced that it had received a petition to cancel all used of endosulfan. Comments must be received on or before 29 Jun 09.  Submit your comments throught the Federal eRulemaking Portal, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0615.

methomyl - States of CA, MA, CN, NY have asked EPA to repeal or modify tolerance, contending that 10-fold safety factor was not used. Comments must be received by May 9, 2005; on May 16, this public comment period was extended through 16 June 05.

spinetoram - A new active ingredient in the same class as spinosad (SpinTor, Entrust) has been registered for fruit crops. Delegate WG is registered on pome and stone fruits, bushberries, caneberries and grape.  Radiant SC is the formulation registered on strawberries

For some industry discussion on FQPA changes and issues, see Issues section of the CropLife America web site.

2016 Revisions to Commercial Vineyard Spray Guide:

The revised Pest Management Guide for commercial vineyards is now available.  (The Pest Management Guide is available on-line for free. Hard copies are also available for $6.00 plus shipping.  Call 540-231-1322). Recommendations for grapes are also available in the web page, now updated to 2014.

2016 Revisions to Home Fruit Spray Guide:

The revised Pest Management Guide for Home Grapevines is now available.  (The Pest Management Guide is available on-line for free. Hard copies are also available for $15.00 plus shipping.  Call 540-231-1322). Recommendations for home vines are also available in the web page, now updated to 2014.

New Viticulture link in Virginia Fruit Page:

The link for viticultural information now leads to Viticulture Notes, a bimonthly newsletter by Tony Wolf of Virginia Tech's Alson H. Smith Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Winchester. This site provides information on general viticultural topics, as well as information on upcoming educational meetings.

Vineyard and Winery Festivals:

In the VDACS Wine Web Site, there is a listing of Virginia Winery Festivals
Back to Vineyard page 
Back to Mid-Atlantic Regional Fruit Loop

Send comments by e-mail to: Douglas G. Pfeiffer