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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Grape Root Borer Volunteer Monitoring Network (GRB*VMN) Seeking Participants

Grape root borer (Vitacea polistiformis) adults. Photo: University of Florida
I was extremely pleased with the success of the spotted wing drosophila (SWD) volunteer monitoring network in 2010. While fielding lots of questions about grape root borer last summer, I realized that this insect would be a great fit for a volunteer monitoring program. In many ways, grape root borer is an even better candidate for a volunteer monitoring program than SWD. The adults are easy to identify, pheromone lures are reasonably specific, and there is only 1 possible generation in North Carolina.
Why do we need a monitoring network for grape root borer?
We have huge gaps in our knowledge of this pest in North Carolina. Many of these gaps stem from the fact that grape root borer has a 1-2 year life cycle (depending on temperature and location in the state), making it hard to do research on. We need to understand the extent and size of our grape root borer populations relative to our vineyards, and we need to understand the seasonal biology of grape root borer (when they begin emerge as adults and for how long this emergence lasts). Both of these needs require a large scale monitoring effort over a wide area. I cannot do this type of research by myself, but I can train interested grower and non grower volunteers to monitor a few locations in their vineyards. If we attract enough volunteers, we can build a powerful data set in 2 years that will allow us to maximize future research efforts.
If this sounds interesting, see below about how to get involved!
What is the Grape Root Borer Volunteer Monitoring Network (GRB*VMN)?
GRB*VMN is a group of North Carolina grape (muscadine and bunch grape) growers and others who are interested in increasing our understanding of grape root borer, an important insect pest of grape vines. We are recruiting volunteers from throughout the state who currently grow grapes.
Why should I join the GRB*VMN?
We will determine the presence and emergence timing of grape root borer in North Carolina grapes. This information is important for developing management programs for grape root borer. We currently only have 1 tool (a pesticide) available, and its use restrictions limit its effectiveness. We need more information about grape root borer biology to support the development and registration of more tools, including non-chemical options.
What will I get from the GRB*VMN?
You will receive:
4 GRB traps & pheromone, Training on trapping and GRB identification, Access to data from your farm and all participating farms (through this blog and regular email alerts).
What do I need to do to participate in the GRB*VMN?
You must agree to check traps weekly from May through October & enter data online. Checking traps should take no more than 1 hour per week.
More informationContact Hannah Burrack for more information on the GRB*VMN and how to get involved!

I will be at a grape field day in Surry County tomorrow (February 18th) to discuss GRB monitoring and recruiting volunteers for the GRB*VMN. See here for details and location.

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