Group surveys fruit growers to assess spotted wing fly's costs

02/18/2014 11:38:00 AM
Vicky Boyd

click image to zoomSpotted wing drosophilaHannah Burrack, North Carolina State University; bugwood.orgIf you grow fruit in the East, consider participating in a survey about the costs of fighting spotted wing drosophila.A working group of growers, researchers, Extensionists, marketers and others need your help to update the economic effects of the spotted wing drosophila fly.

Known as the eFly SWD Working group, it is conducting a survey and hopes to enlist as many Eastern U.S. fruit growers as possible, according to a news release.

The information, which will be reported in such a way as to protect respondents' identities, will be used to guide future research.

It also will be used to support pesticide registrations to fight the pest as well as to secure funding for additional SWD research and Extension projects.

The results will be reported after February.

The latest figures the group has are from the 2012 growing season.

The crops most affected in the East were blueberries, caneberries and strawberries, with the estimated losses between $45 million and $55 million in reporting states.

The states include Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Florida, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia.

If you add in other SWD hosts, the figure ranges from $48 million to $58 million in eastern losses during 2012.

Although cherries are a major host, they weren't included in 2012 because a late freeze significantly reduced the crop.

In the West, some have tried to incorporate pesticide costs, labor increases for sanitation and price elasticity into the SWD impact assessments.

Take the online survey by visiting North Carolina State University.

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