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What Ontario growers need to know about spotted wing drosophila

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is taking the world by storm. In less than 5 years, this pest has invaded fruit-growing regions across  North America and much of Europe.  An incredible research effort is on-going to learn about the life cycle and biology of this pest, how to recognize the damage, and how to control it sustainably.  The Spotted Wing Drosophila program on Thursday Feb 19 will bring the latest research from  the northeast, as well as practical advice for those who are dealing with this pest.  This program is for growers, their scouts, consultants and industry suppliers in Ontario.

How to identify the pest and its damage. Anna Wallingford, from Cornell University will share her insights.

How to monitor for SWD? What traps and baits are the best?  How to assess damage before its too late?  Pam Fisher and the OMAFRA SWD team have been monitoring for SWD since 2011. Pam will share what has been learned so far in Ontario.  Trapping for adults is time consuming, expensive, and not practical for individual farms.  Monitoring for SWD in fruit using salt water floatation is a better way to assess risk to your crop and pick up early infestations.

What  practical research results can I apply on my farm?  Dr. Greg Loeb will discuss important  research findings from the northeastern  SWD research team. Learn how biology of this pest, wild hosts and your production practices can affect management of SWD.

Insecticides are an important tool for SWD control. When SWD adults are present in a region, insecticides are required throughout the ripening and harvest period for most berry crops. Learn  from guest speaker Mark Longstroth, Michigan State University, how to choose an insecticide, and how long you can expect it to work.

Spotted wing drosophila is a manageable pest. Growers have had to change their production practices and re-think their pest management programs, however, SWD can be controlled.  Our program ends with advice from a large berry grower on how to control SWD in pick-your-own and local farm business.  A question and answer period will follow.

Don’t miss the SWD program Thursday morning,  Feb 19, at the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Conference.

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