If you’ve been growing berries for more than a couple of years, you’re no doubt aware that good growing and sanitation practices—such as keeping an open canopy, weeding regularly, rotating insecticides, harvesting frequently, and removing overripe fruit—are key to success in managing spotted wing drosophila (SWD). But maybe you’re not exactly sure just what makes this invasive pest tick, and how to educate staff about it. To help growers better understand and combat the threat posed by SWD, a national team of researchers led by the University of Georgia, and funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agricultural Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI), has put together a new guide to organic management of SWD, Management Recommendations for SWD in Organic Berry Crops.
Starting with details on how SWD builds populations, the guide covers pest identification and monitoring, preventive strategies like pruning and exclusion netting, sanitation, and IPM, including biological and chemical controls. The eight-page guide also features a handy summary of management techniques, which you can print out and post for staff on your farm.