What's HOT in Blueberry Production and
(Updated 19 September 2022)
Spotted lanternfly a new invasive concern: Update on range
Spotted lanternfly training session: A Spotted Lanternfly Training Session for Christmas Trees, Tree Fruits, Grapes & Horticultural Products will be offered in Wytheville. There will be an in-person spotted lanternfly training course that will be held September 29, 2022 from 10:00 am – 12:30 pm at the Wytheville Meeting Center in Wytheville, VA. This training will be for producers of Christmas trees, tree fruits, grapes, and other horticultural products including vegetables.
This training will introduce the Spotted Lanternfly, and will dive into its spread, resources for growers, control methods, regulatory updates, and will provide information on how to comply with the SLF quarantine and permitting requirements.
The course is free, but registration is recommended to Kyle Peer, email@example.com, or 276-694-4135.
This event is sponsored by Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and Virginia Tech.
Spotted lanternfly egg
first hatch for 2022 was reported on 21 April. First
adult emergence for
2022 was noted on 11
This new invasive pest of vineyards and other small fruit crops moved
into eastern Pennsylvania in 2014, and has been
During the 2018 season, the infestation zone in Virginia expanded from approximately 1 square mile block in Winchester, Frederick County, to about 18 square miles, and 40 square miles in fall of 2019. By the end of the 2020 season, the zone encompassed 140 square miles. On May 28, 2019, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) announced the establishment of a quarantine to limit the spread of SLF; this zone was significantly expanded in July 2022. As of 2022, in addition to the original counties of Frederick, Clarke and Warren, SLF is established in Albemarle, Augusta, Carroll, Page, Prince William, Rockingham, Rockbridge, Shenandoah and Wythe Counties, plus the cities of Buena Vista, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Lynchburg, Manassas, Manassas Park, Staunton and Waynesboroor a map of the current Virginia distribution. This includes the entire Shenandoah Valley, with spread further into the Virginia Piedmont.
Links to the quarantine map and quarantine protocol may be found here. One of the requirements of the protocol is one person at each operation becoming certified to insect produces and conveyances leaving the quaranine zone. The certification program may be found here.
pest poses an important risk for grape, orchard and tree
crops. Click here for a recorded talk on this species. A fact sheet is available from Virginia Tech (a
USDA fact sheet is available in Spanish). In
addition, there is a Virginia Tech Pest Alert, with
additional information on recognition and reporting (this is
also available in Spanish). Specific fact
sheets for vineyards and residential areas have been posted. Now
that spotted lanternfly has been found in Virginia, it will be important to follow its spread
through the state. For a current Virginia map, click here.
To report a suspected
find, please follow this link: https://ask2.extension.org/widget.html?team_id=1981?default_location=VA?default_county=All.
A two-day, on-line berry school was
scheduled for Feb 18-19, but has been rescheduled for March
4-5 because of weather. The flier is
linked here with more information. Follow this link to
register for the 2021 Virginia Berry School, https://www.ext.vsu.edu/events/2021/02/18/berry-school.
This two day event will provide information
about the production potential, and health benefits of berry
crops, including blueberry and blackberry. Please share this
information with interested individuals.
lanternfly a new invasive concern:
Update on range expansion
lanternfly egg first
hatch for 2021 was
reported on 28 April.
2021 was noted
on 9 July.
new invasive pest of small fruit crops and
vineyards moved into eastern Pennsylvania in
2014, and has been spreading. The
Pennsylvania quarantine zone for 2020 added 12
new counties, bringing the total to 24
counties in that state. This infestation
now reaches the Ohio border. In 2017,
the range increased from 6 to 13 Pennsylvania
counties, and also into Delaware, New York and
northern Virginia. Specimens of dead
adults and egg
masses were found in Winchester in January
2018 (actually 2017 individuals). In 2020,
the Winchester infestation became more intense,
and spread to Gore in the western part of
Frederick County, and into central Clarke County
in November. This included the first
collection at a commercial vineyard. There
is a reproducing population in Augusta County,
with individual insects found in Warren and Page
counties. The quarantine has been expanded
to include Frederick, Clarke and Warren counties.
Spotted lantern fly is now established in New
Jersey and Maryland, and has been reported from
two counties in West Virginia. This pest
poses an important risk for grape, orchard and
tree crops. Click here for a recorded
talk on this species. A fact
sheet is available from Virginia Tech (a
USDA fact sheet is available in Spanish).
In addition, there is a
Virginia Tech Pest Alert, with additional
information on recognition and reporting (this is also available in Spanish).
Specific fact sheets for vineyards
areas have been posted. Now
that spotted lanternfly has been found in
will be important to follow its spread through
the state. For
a current Virginia map, click here.
To report a
suspected find, please follow this link:
cicada broods active in 2020 and 2021
There are 15 broods of periodical cicada. Two of
these will be affecting Virginia fruit growers this
year (Brood 9) and next Brood 10). Emergence of
adults is expected in early-mid May. Adults
first started appearing in Patrick County
apple orchards on 17 May. The
egg-laying behavior of females will lead to death of
pencil-diameter branches, and can be devastating to
young orchard and vineyard blocks. In addition
to the web page linked in the title, check out this recorded
establishes quarantine for spotted
Late Tuesday afternoon (5/28), Virginia
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS)
announced the establishment of a quarantine for spotted
lanternfly (SLF), an invasive pest insect that was found in
Winchester in January 2018 (ext.vt.edu/spotted-lanternfly). This insect threatens to be a major
pest of fruit crops, forest trees, and other plants in
Virginia. Despite an eradication effort in 2018, SLF
increased its distribution from about 1 square mile to 16
square miles. This year, the overwintering eggs began
their hatch on April 27, earlier than last spring.
The press release on the SLF
here. A direct link to the quarantine
document is linked
here as well. The regulated area includes the
City of Winchester and Frederick County. Some of the
key provisions of the quarantine are:
1) Regulated articles (plants, outdoor
industrial materials, shipping containers, outdoor
household articles, and others) may be moved from the
quarantine area if they have been inspected, and are
accompanied by a permit;
2) Regulated articles may be moved
within the quarantine area following an inspection; a
certificate is not required.
3) From April 1-Dec 31, regulated
articles may be moved through the regulated are without
stopping, or stopping only for fuel or traffic conditions.
4) To obtain a permit to move regulated
articles, a person doing business must complete a
VDACS-approved training (see below) and agree to train
employees on identification of SLF.
The training needed to obtain a SLF
permit is available
online. There is a $6.00 fee.
For questions on the quarantine and related issues:
For questions about the quarantine or movement of material
or trucks, or the compliance agreement, call VDACS.
Call the Richmond number (804-786-5525) even if its a
question about the Winchester area.
For questions about the training for the SLF Detection
Credentials, go to: ext.vt.edu/spotted-lanternfly. Look for a
purple button the right side of the page to start the
For suspected finds of SLF, go to either
the detection portal:
For questions about the training
modules, contact Eric Day or Tree Dellinger, 540-231-4899 or
I'll be posting more on this later.
Revisions to Fruit Pest Management recommendations:
The revised Pest Management Guide
for Home Fruit, Commercial Vineyards, Commercial Small Fruits,
and Hops, are now available. The tree fruit manual,
separate from the Pest Management Guide series, is in
production, and we hope to have it ready for our fruit
The guides are available free online
in PDF, and will also be available for purchase.
- 2021 Pest Management Guides (click on Preview, and Download Version)
Fruit Insect Blog for current
information of fruit insects!
Proposed pollinator protection
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!
New insecticide mode of action
for spotted wing drosophila: A new insecticide has been
approved by EPA, and received a state label in Virginia on 14,
2014. Exirel has the common name cyantraniliprole, also
known as cyazypyr. This product is approved for
bushberries, including blueberries, and stone fruits,
including sweet and sour cherries. The use rate for
this pest on each of these crops is 13.5-20.5 fl oz per acre,
with a 3 d PHI. It is not approved for caneberries or
Spotted wing drosophila:
A new invasive pest of small fruit crops and vineyards moved
through Virginia in late summer 2011. Spotted wing
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. In May 2013, 24(c) labels were approved for
malathion 8F for blueberries and caneberries grown in
Virginia. Blueberry: Allowing up to
2.5 pts/acre for spotted wing drosophila. Maximum
number of applications is 2, with a minimum of 5 days between
applications. Do not exceed a total maximum from all
sources of malathion of 5 lb ai/acre/year. Do not apply
within 1 day of harvest. Caneberries: Allowing
an additional application for spotted wing drosophila.
The maximum application rate is 2.0 pts/acre; the maximum
number of applications per year is 4, and the minimum
retreatment interval is 7 days. Do not exceed a total
maximum use rate of all sources of malathion of 8 lb
ai/acre/year. Do not apply within 1 day of harvest.
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:
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
Produced by Penn State, Rutgers Univ., Univ. Delaware, West
Virginia Univ., Univ. Maryland and Virginia Tech. Order
through Penn State for $20.00.
Pesticides in the news:
to cease production and sale of
On Feb 6, Coreteva
announced it will cease production and sale of
chlorpyrifos, the active ingredient in
Lorsban. The statement cited economic
factors. This material has been in the
news lately, for human health and regulatory
concerns. In November 2015, EPA announced
its plan to revoke all tolerances because
of neurodevelopmental problems resulting from
neonatal exposure. However, the plan was
subsequently reversed following a call
for more comments in November 2016, finalized
in July 2019.
to Consumers Union Study, "Do You Know What You're Eating?"
The current issue (March 1999) of Consumer
Reports contains a brief account of the recent study performed by
Consumers Union. Although this article ("How Safe is our
Produce?") probably will be much more visible to the public than
the full accounts, it is really impossible to assess much about it
because of its brevity. The claims of the short version are that
current laws do not protect children from consuming dangerous
amounts of pesticides, that such consumption is fairly common, and
that one pesticide in particular, methyl parathion, is a major
contributor to the problem of residues danger. The shortcomings
are not readily apparent until the full account, entitled "Do You
Know What You're Eating?" is examined. For a fuller account of
this article, and a response, click here.
Other stories deal recently from the Consumer
Reports issue: (Fruit
Growers News link). On Thursday, Feb. 25, the U.S. Apple
Assoc. held a press
conference to address this issue. This release followed a
statement by the Environmental
Working Group that maintained that children are at risk from
eating apples and peaches, and recommended parental choices away
from these fruits. The Apple Association response provides a more
balanced treatment of this emotional issue.
This is the latest is a series of developments
relating to pesticides, starting with FQPA (see below). There
have been two documents recently from Consumers Union, Worst
and Do You Know What You're Eating? (html
(PDF files require Adobe Acrobat to download). A basic premise
of Worst First is that the most hazardous uses are already
declining and alternatives to these materials are already
available or nearly so (therefore there should be no opposition
to loss of these materials through FQPA). The report contains
many oversimplifications however, and alternatives are actually
not as ready as portrayed.
One area of risk that has been attributed to
certain pesticides is estrogen
disruption. This has been one cateogry to have been
addressed by FQPA. However, an early report of this effect,
published in the journal Science, has
been retracted. How this retraction affects the public
debate is yet to be seen. The "risk" is still claimed in
discussions on the web and elsewhere.
A series of pesticide profiles are currently
under development for Virginia apples.
New Pesticide Legislation - Updates on
The Food Quality Protection Act became law in
1996. This revision of FIFRA contained elements that pleased
environmental and agricultural groups. The Delaney Clause is
abolished, replaced with a concept of reasonable risk. Increased
attention is given to high risk groups, primarily young children.
Many in the industry regarded this as a
benefit of the new legislation. However, it is increasingly
apparent that many commonly used pesticides are at risk of being
eliminated or their use restricted. Of most immediate concern
are the organophosphate and carbamate insecticides.
New! 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
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
Virginia Berry Conference:
The 6th Annual Virginia Berry Production and Marketing
Conference was held on the Virginia State University campus on
March 14, 2013. See the program
Vegetable and Fruit Conference - Savannah GA - Jan 10-13,
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Send comments by e-mail to: Douglas G. Pfeiffer