What's HOT in Grape Production and Research

(Updated 30 January 2024)

2024 Revisions to Fruit Pest Management recommendations:

The guides are available free online in PDF, and will also be available for purchase.

2023 Vineyard Meetings :

The first vineyard meeting of the season will be held at Burnbrae Vineyards at Forest, in Bedford County. The meeting will run from 11:00 AM to 2:30 PM. Contact Grace Monger, 434-263-7183 for additional information.

Spotted lanternfly a new invasive concern: Update on range expansion

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, krpeer@vt.edu, 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 July. This new invasive pest of vineyards and other small fruit crops moved into eastern Pennsylvania in 2014, and has been spreading.  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. An informational meeting on quarantine compliance will be held on 1 August at 5:30PM at King Family Vineyard in Crozet. Contact the Nelson County VCE office to pre-register.

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. 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 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 linkhttps://ask2.extension.org/widget.html?team_id=1981?default_location=VA?default_county=All.


Corteva to cease production and sale of chlorypyrifos:
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.

Fruit Insect Blog for current information of fruit insects! 
Visit https://virginiafruitinsectupdates.blogspot.com/.

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. 

Online master's Degree: 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.   (see 2017-2018 Extended Campus tuition rates).

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.

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.

Virginia Vineyard Association Winter Meeting: February 19-21, 2020.

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