Project: Research project

Project Details


Grapes are the highest value fruit crop in the U.S valued at over $6.5 billion dollars. Vineyards are challenged by a variety of diseases and insect pest, including spotted lanternfly (SLF). SLF feeding is detrimental to grapevines causing yield losses of up to 90%, along with a reduction in wine quality, vine decline and death. These insects were accidentally introduced to Pennsylvania in 2014 and have spread to 13 additional States posing a threat to the U.S. grape and wine industry. Currently, chemical pesticides are the most common strategy for controlling SLF populations. Grape growers have reported an increased use of pesticide sprays in their vineyards that has considerably augmented their production costs and reduced their profit. Grape growers are aware of the importance of controlling SLF in their vineyards, but they are uncertain on when to apply control tactics. The goal of this proposal is to develop action thresholds to help guide growers on the appropriate SLF densities (number of insects per plant) that need to be targeted to avoid economic loss. Economic thresholds are the basis of insect pest management programs, and their use leads to a more efficient use of pesticides, reduction of environmental and human health risks, higher economic benefits to growers, and reduction of pest populations. Field-established grapevines will be enclosed in mesh cages and infested with diferent numbers of SLF individuals (from 0 to ~320). At the end of the growing season, the vines will be harvested and weighed to determine yield. Additionally, several grapes from each vine will be used for winemaking. The relationship between the number of SLF per vine and the resulting yield and wine quality will be assessed with appropriate statistical methods. This information will help determine the number of SLF individuals per vine that causes yield or wine quality loss. These data along with data on SLF management costs obtained from grape growers with previous SLF infestations will be used to calculate action thresholds for this insect. Action thresholds are the basis of insect pest management programs, they help guide growers on the appropriate timing to apply control strategies and often help reduce pesticide applications. This research is critical and timely for the grape and wine industry that deals with the threads of this devastating invasive insect pest.?
Effective start/end date9/1/237/31/25


  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $200,000.00


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