Verifying a prototype risk model to help growers manage spotted wing drosophila in Michigan tart cherries

Nikki Rothwell, coordinator of the Northwest Michigan Horticulture Research Center, is working to develop an online risk model to help with spotted wing drosophila management.

Researcher: Nikki Rothwell

Awarded: $36,900
Leveraged: $29,800

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) has drastically affected traditional pest management in Michigan cherry orchards. In laboratory studies, researchers have found that change in fruit color is correlated to SWD infestation in tart cherry. In response, they have developed a rudimentary risk model to help growers manage SWD. For this project, researchers are attempting to verify this model in tart cherry orchards throughout Michigan and better understand the effect of environmental conditions on SWD activity, population growth and infestation. Researchers are seeking to further refine the proposed model with environmental conditions data to guide annual recommendations. Lastly, they intend for this model to be an online assessment tool to guide SWD management for cherry growers. Michigan cherry growers were early adopters of integrated pest management. This proposed research would provide the first online risk model to assist SWD management in tart cherry.

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