Vine Mealbug Information
Invasive pests and diseases are a challenge for all grape growers. Research is vital to develop new strategies and solutions. The Pierce’s Disease/Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Board was established nearly two decades ago to allocate funding to the most promising research projects. Kristin Lowe, Research Coordinator at the Pierce's Disease and Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Board and President of Vine Balance Consulting shares how projects are funded through a rigorous scientific review and screening panel. Also, learn about some of the most exciting projects including “pathogen confusion” to control Pierce’s Disease from Dr. Steve Lindow and a gene-editing technology for grapevines using plant protoplasts Dr. David Tricoli.
Vine mealybug can cause permanent damage to vineyards if left unchecked, yet can be easily confused with several similar pests. Vine Mealybugs can usually be distinguished from these other mealybugs by their short ‘tail’ filaments, smaller size, and more oblong shape. Another telltale sign of this pest is the excessive amount of honeydew they produce. Learn about mealybugs and how to distinguish vine mealybugs from other species in this article.
In Lodi, California, farmers, scientists, and industry members came together to learn about the benefits of vine mealybug biocontrol in vineyards as part of a grant project funded by the USDA's Western SARE program. This video discusses the VMB history as well as what IPM strategies growers are using.
The vine mealybug is an economic pest of vineyards in the Mediterian regions of Europe, Africa, and The Middle East, as well as in South America, Pakistan, and Argentina. It is localized in all grape-growing regions of California. This small, cryptic insect infests all parts of the vine and produces large amounts of honeydew that damaged the fruit and foliage resulting in unmarketable grapes. This insect also causes the vine to decline in vigor and production and transmits leafroll viruses.
All winegrowers are on the same quest to find virus-negative plant material. James Stamp, President at Stamp Associates Viticulture, Inc, works with his clients to find the highest quality grapevine plants to establish new vineyards. This thorough process to find virus-negative material includes partnering with nurseries that previously delivered good products. There is oversight through all stages of production from testing material to harvesting and grafting, from production to delivery, and the final selection of plants for the vineyard site.
With the prevalence of Leaf Roll Three, Red Blotch, and other viruses, accurate and timely detection of viruses in grapevines has never been more imperative. Alan Wei, Owner and Lab Manager at Agri-Analysis LLC in Davis California explains how his lab is using next generation sequencing (NGS) to find new viruses. Currently, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the widely accepted method for testing for viruses. This process tests for one gene at time. Next generation sequencing allows labs to test multiple genes at a time and get results much faster.
Vine Mealybug (VMB) is a challenging pest in many vineyards. Growers are increasingly incorporating biological control into their Integrated Pest Management programs by releasing Mealybug Destroyers and Anagyrus Wasps. Brett Chandler, President and General Manager at Associates Insectary explains how these two beneficials help manage VMB populations, how to monitor for both Mealybug and beneficials, when and how often to release the insects, the best release methods, and how to pair beneficials with chemical control.
If weeds aren’t a top priority in your pest control program, maybe they should be. John A. Roncoroni, Emeritus UC Cooperative Extension Weed Science Farm Advisor, covers why weeds should play a more important role in pest control programs, knowing which weeds you have on your property, fire mitigation, and the toughest weeds to control today so you can bolster your weed management program.
The Virginia Creeper Leafhopper was recently introduced into the North Coast of California where it was discovered that it has no biological controls. Additionally, its life stages are different from the more well-known Western Leafhopper so growers must utilize different management practices to control the pest. Houston Wilson at UC Riverside covers his research on the Virginia Creeper Leafhopper and potential biological controls.
Consumer demand for transparency and sustainability of their food system is leading to more and more agrochemical restrictions to address concern for pollinators, noenicitinoids, and drift. Additionally, ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investors are putting pressure on the chemical industry to improve their metrics. Pam Marrone, Founder and CEO of Marrone Bio Innovations outlines the market, status and potential for biologicals in this excerpt from our 2020 Sustainable Ag Expo.
There is a long history of using natural products as the basis for creating new pesticides but there is still a relatively low percentage of naturally derived pesticides relative to the number of pharmaceuticals derived from natural sources. Biopesticides as defined and regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been around for 70 years, starting with Bacillus thuringiensis, but they are experiencing rapid growth as the products have got better and more science-based, and there are more restrictions on synthetic chemical pesticides.
Imagine improving both the efficiency and safety of your team with autonomous drone vineyard spraying. That is exactly what David Goldfarb and the team at Clos de la Tech are trialing in their vine rows. Initially, they looked to drones as a way to scout for pests. Spraying was limited due to the small capacity of the machines. Then an advancement inspired by COVID stadium sanitation standards changed the game. A tethering system was created to attach the drone to a full-sized tank with a lightweight hose.
Emily Symmes, Entomologist and Technical Field Manager at Suterra, addresses the basics of vine mealybug (VMB) in grapes. VMB are phloem eaters, piercing the trunk, canes, and berry clusters and vectoring leafroll-associated viruses. In high populations, they will weaken the vines and can cause vine decline and death. Proper species identification is vital to understand biologies and seasonal cycles of the VMB. Monitoring should be managed with both pheromone trapping and scouting throughout the year.
When it comes to vertebrate pests, an integrated pest management plan is important for any crop, including vineyards. Roger Baldwin, Cooperative Extension Specialist with in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at the University of California at Davis explain the various ways growers can manage vertebrates including rodenticides, traps, beneficials, burrow fumigants, exclusion, and, exciting new opportunities with chemical repellants.
David Gadoury, Plant Pathologist at Cornell University, is part of a large team of international researchers testing UV light to control powdery mildew on a variety of crops including grapes. Scientists found that UV light for pest management is much more effective at night when microorganisms cannot employ their repair process which requires blue light. So far, trials have found that UV light is most effective against powdery mildews. In the best treatment scenarios, control is on par with best available fungicides. And now, UV light treatments are being paired with autonomous robots, providing potentially even greater efficiencies to growers.
Numerous vineyards have utilized sheep and goats in their vineyard for grazing but most only during the winter. Kelly Mulville was on a mission to design a vineyard for year-round grazing to restore the ecosystem with livestock. Using the sheep will eliminate all suckering and tipping, dramatically reduce fertilization, decrease irrigation use, and lower labor costs. Listen in as Kelley explains the trial process for tips on how to set up your own vineyard for year-round grazing.
In 2008, the oversupply of Sauv. Blanc coupled with the financial crisis lead to trialing shaking to remove berries in New Zealand. A few years later, the New Zealand Winegrowers funded a grant to test the impact of shaking on dropping fruit, wine quality, & botrytis. Mark Allen of Allen Vineyard Advisory explains that because shaking causes some damage to the canopy and berries, pathologists assumed that the shaken vines would have a higher incidence of botrytis. They were surprised when they did not.
The resource concentration hypothesis looks at how the advent of modern agriculture as monoculture created an environment where pests can grow faster because their resource, the crop, is more prevalent. Biodiversity is fundamental for pest management and Daniel Paredes, Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California Davis, in the department of Wildlife Fish and Conservation Biology, is studying how sustaining natural habitat around vineyards can increase biodiversity.
Once a vineyard manger has found disease there is often not much to be done, they are merely mitigating loss. The Lab at Cornell has launched several projects utilizing imaging spectroscopy (also known as hyperspectral imaging) deployed at all scales, from autonomous rovers to spacecraft with the goal to detect disease earlier when management is going to be both minimal and successful.
The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) is the newest agricultural invasive species in the United States. Originally from Asia, this insect feeds on plant sap from a broad range of hosts. Dr. Heather Leach, Extension Associate at the Department of Entomology at Penn State University is focused on researching this insect and educating the public on how to manage the pest. Although it appears that SLF has been in the United States for some years, growers are now seeing adverse effects and report extreme vine decline and death.
Leading expert Dr. Andrew Landers of Cornell University discusses his more than thirty years of research and development on pesticide sprayer technology to reduce pesticide use through accurate, efficient delivery of the product to the plant.
Dr. Charlotte Decock, Assistant Professor Cal Poly - Earth & Soil Sciences talks about soil management with the goal of capturing greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere and sequestering them in the soil. Her teaching and research focus on sustainable fertilizer and soil management in California’s specialty crops.
Mealybugs, especially the vine mealybug, excrete a white waxy substance in clusters that is unacceptable to wineries. They also excrete a sweet honeydew that is a substrate for black sooty mold. Black sooty mold covers the fruit and the rest of the vine with a black coating. In addition, mealybugs spread Grapevine Leafroll-associated Virus 3 (GLRaV-3). Between damage to fruit and vine decline from virus, the economic impacts of the pest are substantial.
Some 25 to 30 percent of vineyards in Washington state have nematode population densities that are considered damaging. Inga Zasada, Research Plant Pathologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service is particularly interested in nematode management because Washington is mostly own rooted vines. Inga and her team are working on practical research for growers including identifying where different types of nematodes are in relation to the vine and a degree day model for nematode life stages so if chemical becomes available it can be used property.
Steven Lindow, Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of California Berkley is a plant pathologist and microbial ecologist. He and his team are researching other bacteria that can grow in the grapevine that mysteriously sensitize them to the Pierce’s Disease pathogen. Once inoculated with the new bacteria the plant induces its innate immune system to combat Pierces Disease. This process works like a vaccine although the bacteria itself does not cause a direct action.
Bruce Reisch, Professor of Grapevine Breeding and Genetics at Cornell University, specialized in the development of new wine and table grape varieties, as well as new grape breeding techniques. Of the more than 60 grape species available, most of the grapes we are familiar with come from European vitis vinifera. Unfortunately, this species offers little disease resistance, but other species have better sources.
Beginning at version, grapes become a very attractive food for pest birds, particularly Sparrows and Starlings. Initially the vineyard is explored by small flocks of scouting birds. If those birds like the fruit, and if there is no obvious danger, the entire flock will follow. Falcons terrify pest birds, herding them away from the grapes, but not killing them.
Dr. Michelle Moyer, Assistant Professor and Statewide Viticulture Extension Specialist at Washington State University uses the age old fairytale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears to explain powdery mildew. Like Goldilocks, powdery mildew likes the weather conditions to be just right. Dr. Moyer explains these ideal conditions and two key ways to avoid disease in your vineyard by making things “not right”.
Wayne Wilcox, Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology at Cornell University, spent his career on the applied biology and integrated management of grapevine fungal diseases. His applied research sought to discover what makes a “disease tick” and use that knowledge to learn how to better target the disease.
Grape vine trunk diseases are prevalent in mature vineyards, shortening the vineyard’s life and productivity. Akif Eskalen, Cooperative Extension Specialist and Plant Pathologist at the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of California Davis, is researching naturally occurring microorganisms to use as biocontrol against these fungal pathogens.
Lauren Noland-Hajik, Attorney and Lobbyist at Kahn, Soares & Conway gives an update on new policies that affect the wine industry including the Water Resiliency Plan and how it affects Sustainable Groundwater Management Act; regulating power shutoffs to prevent wildfires; anticipated regulations on pesticides; and impending labor law changes.
Scott Steinmaus, PhD - Horticulture and Crop Science Department, California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo
John A. Roncoroni is the UC Cooperative Extension Weed Science Farm Advisor and UCIPM affiliate advisor in Napa County. In this podcast, John talks about his specialty; weed management in California’s Coastal and Foothill premium winegrape growing regions and why weeds should play a more important role in pest control programs.
Gerhard (Gerry) Pietersen is a plant virologist with an interest in solving problems in South African agriculture related to plant viruses. In this interview Gerry discusses the severe plant health and economic impacts seen in South Africa from Grapevine leafroll disease, the importance of regional buy in to establish a control program including a very successful collaboration of 50 adjoining farms in New Zealand, and new techniques to detect the virus including loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and grafting sensitive red cultivars on white cultivars to use the shoot as an indicator.
Dr. Scott Steinmaus is a professor of Biological Sciences at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. His interview covers the complexities of herbicide resistance including challenges seen in glyphosate research around resistance, information bias, and environmental and social impacts. Scott highlights the importance of “mixing it up” – reducing use, preserving the limited modes of action available, and finding alternatives.
Dr. Luca Brillante from the Department of Viticulture and Enology at California Fresno State University discusses his current research and teaching on efficient management solutions through digital viticulture, improved accuracy and cost reduction with automation, and how he is teaching the next generation of viticulturists about sustainable wine production.
Dr. Michelle Moyer of Washington State discusses recent research on integrated pest management for grapevine powdery mildew, how short term weather patterns impacts farming decisions, why clean plants may have made red blotch virus more detectable, controlling wine quality with water stress and “Farming by Excel” – how fewer people working in the field has increased growers reliance on data and technology.
Dan Rodrigues, Owner of VinaQuest, talks about how the loss of materials impacts farming; disease management for mildew, sour rot, and weeds; the effects of a wet winter; and what trends he sees for the future.
Dr. Stephanie Bolton, Sustainable Winegrowing Director, Lodi Winegrape Commission, talks about sustainable farming in the Lodi winegrowing region.
Mark Browning, owner, Barn Owl Box Company and Head Researcher, Barn Owl/Rodent Project discusses barn owls and their role on the farm.
Fritz Westover, viticulturist with Westover Vineyard Advising and Virtual Viticulture Academy describes growing conditions and challenges in multiple states in the Southeastern United States.
Mark Chien shares highlights from his career helping grapegrowers in some of the most difficult growing regions in the world. From his years as a vineyard manager to Penn State viticulture extension agent, and now Program Coordinator for the Oregon Wine Research Institute.
Dr. Cliff Ohmart, owner/operator of Ohmart Consulting Services, shares insights from his career in sustainability research and education in winegrapes and other crops.
Andrew Landers, Ph.D., Director, Effective Spraying & Faculty Fellow, Atkinson Centre for a Sustainable Future, Cornell University, discusses what goes into spraying pesticides efficiently and effectively to reduce environmental impacts, improve safety, and reduce costs.
Kris Beal, M.S., Executive Director of Vineyard Team, recounts some of the history of the organization, it’s current activities and what the future holds in store.
A comprehensive overview of what is known about the presence of viral, bacterial, and fungal pathogens in nursery stock including Foundation Plant Services mother blocks.
Dr. Kari Arnold talks about Grapevine Leaf Roll-associated Virus 3, its vector the vine mealybug, and how growers can manage the spread of viruses both within and between vineyards.
Dr. Kari Arnold talks about Grapevine Leaf Roll-associated Virus 3, its vector the vine mealybug, and how growers can manage the spread of viruses both within and between vineyards.
Walt Mahaffee, Ph.D., Research Plant Pathologist, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Corvalis explains how and why Grape Powdery Mildew populations become resistant to certain fungicides.
Marc Lea, Deputy Agricultural Commissioner, San Luis Obispo County Ag and Lottie Martin, Deputy Agricultural Commissioner, Santa Barbara County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office talk about using pesticides safely and recycling pesticide containers.
Recommendations for control of stinkwort.
Description of the weed stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens), its rapid spread through California, and its life cycle.
Two articles on the spread, biology, and control of stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens).
Ashley Poupart explores why sustain practices are important to the wine and winegrape industries followed by an overview and comparison of the major sustainability certifications available to vineyards.
Bart Haycraft, Vineyard Manager for Jackson Family Wines Los Alamos, walks through all of the vineyard operations he has mechanized on his ranches including weed control, canopy management and efficient harvesting. Q&A for this session is found here: https://youtu.be/nC1gSjtU1QM
Bart Haycraft, Vineyard Manager for Jackson Family Wines Los Alamos, answers questions about the vineyard operations he has mechanized on his ranches including weed control, canopy management and efficient harvesting. The full session is found here: https://youtu.be/ItFu_50H0og
Vineyard Manger Lucas Pope describes how he farms 281 acres of winegrapes situated on a 2,000+ ranch of undisturbed oak woodland where he and his team regularly come across deer, coyotes, mountain lion, and rattlesnakes.
Check out some favorite episodes Here are ten episodes of the Sustainable Winegrowing podcast you don’t want to miss.
Steve McIntyre, Owner, Monterey Pacific Inc. and Board Member, Pierce’s Disease/Glassy-winged Sharpshooter Board talks about the PD/GWSS Board, its function, and how the board works to reduce the impacts and spread of this disease.
Bart Haycraft, Vineyard Manager, Jackson Family Wines- Los Alamos describes some of the techniques he uses in his vineyards for managing vineyard pests.
This chart shows the relative impacts on beneficial insects of 36 common insecticides.
A brief summary of the key points made by Dr. Tim Miles during his talk at the February 23, 2018 Fungicide Resistance Tailgate.
Reflections, insights, and advice on the 2017 powdery mildew season by Dr. Walt Mahaffee, Research Plant Pathologist, USDA-ARS Horticulture Crops Research Unit . Topics include timing, coverage, vine microclimate, canopy management and more.
These excerpts from the 2017 edition of this UCIPM text describe and explain fungicide resistance and include tables listing fungicides registered for grapes with their known efficacy against various diseases and their resistance risk as of 2017.
Amy Wolfe, President/CEO of AgSafe, discusses changes to the Worker Protection Standard including worker training, decontamination, and emergency response training.
Contacts, definitions, and processes for disposing of pesticides (hazardous waste in San Luis Obispo County.
This podcast is an excerpt of the talk Dr. Pete Goodell delivered at the 2016 Sustainable Ag Expo on the history of IPM and what IPM is as a philosophy and practice.
This podcast is an excerpt of the talk Dr. Kent Daane delivered at the 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo on which insecticides are best for controlling mealybug.
Twenty years ago it was believed that dead arms and diebacks were cause by a single organism- Eutypa lata. It is now known that many fungi all cause the same symptoms and eventually kill the vine.
The annual meeting of the Association of Applied IPM Ecologists took place November 29 to December 1 at the Visalia Marriott at the Convention Center in Visalia, California. Here are some highlights.
Dr. Marc Fuchs researches the biology and ecology of the Grapevine Red Blotch associated Virus.
A scientific study of prey consumption by nesting barn owls over a three year period.
A fact sheet about cover crops and tillage.
The develop of fungal diseases on grapes is a progression from powdery mildew in the spring to Botrytis in the late summer.
The research of Megan Hall and others has advanced our knowledge of the etiology, epidemiology, and management of sour rot from what we knew four years ago. Her research sheds light on the role of fruit flies in this disease complex.
The crop looks good and canopy growth is strong.
After an epidemic of Pierce’s Diseases devastated the Temecula Valley wine industry in the 1990s, grape growers and scientist are working together to prevent that from happening again.
Although rarely seen in coastal California, when conditions are right this devastating fungal disease can make an appearance.
Sustainability rests on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Greg Pennyroyal discusses the appearance of vine mealybug in the Temecula Valley, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and how the community came together to monitor and manage this pest.
Farming organically has many benefits, but growing winegrapes organically has special challenges. Learn how one grower uses organic pest management practices in the vineyards.
Two growers share strategies for managing Vine Mealybug in organic and sustainable vineyards.
Although symptoms of the disease aren't apparent until late in the season, the vectors are on the move.
If you plan to replant vines due to the Red Blotch virus or Pierce's Disease, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the Farm Service Agency Tree Assistance Program.
Dr. Pete Goodell, California Cooperative Extension Advisor, makes the case that IPM is a critical tool to address multiple issues facing our sustainable vineyard and agricultural systems.
On Jan 1, 2017, Worker Protection Standards (WPS) were updated. Here's what you need to know. In English and Spanish.
Grant Cremers describes his vineyard management strategy through a combination of under-vine cultivation and herbicides at San Bernabe Vineyards.
Dr. Timothy Miles discusses the prevalence of fungicide resistant powdery mildew populations found to be resistant to FRAC group 11 fungicides.
This mobile app (PMapp) trains you to accurately estimate severity of grape powdery mildew damage with pictures and calculates incidence and severity on the go.
Growers share their practices and experiences with fungicide resistance and battling Powdery Mildew in their vineyards.
Dr. Walt Mahaffee describes the latest advances in grape powdery mildew management and reducing fungicide applications through inoculum monitoring.
In conjunction with cover crops and a sound knowledge of weed species and biology in vineyards, growers have cultivators and other implements for their vineyard floor management. This tailgate provides information about how various implements work, their strengths and weaknesses, and their role in sustainable weed management.
A grower panel discussion on preventative and management practices for grapevine trunk diseases and Red Blotch Virus management.
Dr. Golino describes the history behind the discovery and study of Red Blotch Disease and other grapevine virus diseases.
Barn owls play an important role in both the ecosystem and in Integrated Pest Management.