The goal of this USDA SBIR Phase I project is to develop the pheromone product SPLAT GBM for season-long control the grape berry moth and mechanize its application with tools available to small farmers.
Non-Technical Summary: Grapes are the largest fruit industry in the USA. Thousands of workers are in production and processing businesses related to grape products, making this a major component in the economy of many rural communities. In recent years, levels of GBM infestation in vineyards before harvest have increased across the northeastern United States, leading to frequent rejection of entire loads of grapes by processors. Reduced availability and efficacy of broad-spectrum insecticides creates a need to search for control alternative that can effectively control this key vineyard insect pest. Processors indicate that Load rejections are primarily due to mold & decay as a result of GBM larvae damage.Damage due to GBM is on the rise and fruit damage resulting in load rejections and crop losses were due to late season (mid-August to mid-September) larval damage. In this proposal we will demonstrate the effectiveness in season-long field control of GBM populations using a flowable wax emulsion system (SPLAT) that can be mechanically applied with small farmers equipment and delivers effective amounts of the sex pheromone to promote disruption of GBM mate finding. <P> Approach: The short term goal of this project is to develop the product SPLAT GBM and mechanize its application using so that we can achieve a long term goal that ISCA Technologies, MSU and USDA share, which is to decrease the grape grower reliance on FQPA-targeted insecticides, thus the risk of residues in harvested fruit and vineyard worker exposure are also reduced in the eastern US small vineyards. This project focuses on the primary lepidopteran pest of Eastern US vineyards because it drives the majority of broad-spectrum insecticide applications. To encourage adoption, in Phase II, ISCAs promising alternative pheromone tools to manage GBM will be evaluated under commercial field conditions and, in Phase II demonstrate to the eastern US grape industry.