May 27, 2013 – Dr. Rose Buitenhuis and her team at the Vineland Research Innovation Center (VRIC) have been monitoring for spotted wing drosophila (SWD) in the Niagara region all winter, and have not trapped any flies since mid- January.
All Ontario growers should be planning for SWD control in berry crops. When monitoring indicates that flies are active, ripening berry crops will be susceptible to damage. What we don’t know is when SWD will be active. In 2011, populations built up just at the end of harvest, but in 2012, first catch and peak catch were about six weeks earlier and considerable damage occurred.
A project proposal to fund an Ontario-wide regional SWD monitoring program was submitted by the Ontario Berry Growers Association (OBGA) in January 2013 to the Canadian Agri-Science Cluster for Horticulture. We are anxiously waiting for approval for this project but are no longer optimistic that it will be funded. Stay tuned as we try to patch together some sort of monitoring program for Ontario.