All season, a team from MSU extension has been visiting vineyards along the western shore of Michigan—scouting for insect and disease issues for both juice and wine grapes.
The scouts wrapped up their ninth report ahead of harvest. According to Jackie Perkins, entomologist research technician with MSU Extension, the team wanted to have the most up-to-date information to give growers on insects and diseases. She wanted to make a one-stop-shop for growers to be aware of what they’ve been seeing from vineyards from Berrien County to Leelandeau County.
“We are always looking for what our growers are dealing with,” said Perkins. “As grapes develop, the insects and diseases that are potentially problematic for the grapes change throughout the season.”
Michigan grape growers often face problems with grape berry moth. The team looked at how it impacts the crop in the different regions and worked with growers to compare ways to manage the insect.
“We might have one block of their vineyard of a certain variety that they manage how they always do, and then we have one block set aside,” she said. “That was our experimental block where we were able to make recommendations and try different strategies.”
While grape growers are looking toward harvest and not at insect management, Perkins warns growers to be watchful of the spotted wing Drosophila.
“It’s not something they’re always managing since it’s so late in the season, but some of these vinegar flies can cause a lot of damage, especially the spotted wing Drosophila,” she said. “It doesn’t always attack grapes, but when it does, it can open up damage that spreads.
She encourages growers to check out their vineyards periodically. Check out the full story online at Michigan Ag Today. Com for more information and helpful links.
The grant that funds the work of Perkins and her team of Tim Miles, Rufus Isaacs, Thomas Todaro, Megan Trammel, Mark Longstroth and Michael Rienke is called “Michigan Grape Extension Programs to Support Vineyard Sustainability and Fruit Quality.”
For information on MSU’s grape Integrated Pest Management, visit MSU Extension’s Grape Pest Management page.