Spotted wing Drosophila IPM training available to berry growers

Berry growers and consultants are invited to a spotted wing Drosophila systems approach control training on June 5 in Fennville.

Michigan State University Extension invites growers, field managers, pest consultants and everyone involved in insect pest management in blueberries, raspberries and strawberries to attend our first 2017 Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Workshop on Monday, June 5, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the MSU Trevor Nichols Research Center, 6237 124th Avenue, Fennville, MI 49408.

Why should I attend this workshop?

The workshop is based on using advanced IPM tools to manage SWD. These IPM tools translate directly to the bottom line. In 2015, 50 percent of the growers who attended similar workshops reported applying one or two applications less than in 2014, which resulted in an average pest control reduction expense of $175 per acre versus $375 per acre in 2014.

Additionally, the same growers reported a reduction in SWD-induced crop losses of, on average, 9 percent versus 18.5 percent in 2014. The training provided to growers who used a systems approach to manage SWD resulted in fewer insecticide applications and a reduction in the amount of insecticides applied on the fruit ensuring pesticide residues on fruit were below maximum residue limits allowed.

How is this systems approach training different from other training offered in previous years?

Many things have changed since we last offered SWD control training. This training has been reformatted to incorporate new concepts and research advances discovered at MSU and other university collaborators on controlling and managing SWD under a systems approach.

Under this approach, growers learn to use:

  • The biology and behavior of SWD to target the most sensitive life stages of the pest to optimize the effectiveness of recommended insecticides.
  • The chemical characteristics and behavior of recommended insecticides to understand how it performs under a variety of weather conditions. This will allow growers and IPM practitioners to make informed decisions about when and how to utilize each one of the recommended insecticides, depending on their chemical characteristic and behavior.
  • The current and forecasted weather information. The training emphasizes the use of MSU Enviroweather to program your insecticide applications and select the best insecticides depending on the current and forecasted weather conditions.

There will be a hands-on session dedicated to discussing a successful IPM program for SWD control using Enviroweather and MSU Extension resources provided during the classroom sessions. If you have a tablet or laptop computer, please bring it with you for the hands-on session.

Even though you may have already attended one or more trainings in the past, this training will provide you with new information and will help you upgrade your IPM skills to manage SWD in your fields during the upcoming pre-harvest season.

There is a $25 fee for this workshop, which includes materials and refreshments. Pre-registration is required. For a complete agenda and to register, go to 2017 Spotted Wing Drosophila Workshop. Four RUP Recertification Credits are available.

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