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Grape IPM in the Northeast


Grape pest management in the northeastern United States has traditionally centered around calendar- or phenology-based pesticide applications. This approach has been simple to use and reasonably effective. However, with processor-imposed restrictions on the use of pesticides, public concern over food and environmental safety intensifying, and costs of vineyard inputs increasing, growers must adopt economically and environmentally sound integrated pest management practices to maintain the viability of the industry.

Grape growers in the Northeast have many alternative pest management practices available to them that allow them to reduce, eliminate, or improve the timing and effectiveness of pesticide applications. Although many growers are familiar with the Grape Berry Moth Risk Assessment protocol, many of the other alternative pest management practices are not as widely known.

The need for a component approach when developing and implementing a vineyard pest management plan is clearly illustrated by the differences in grape production systems currently used in the grape production areas of New York and Pennsylvania. Concord is the dominant variety in the Lake Erie region and requires a less intensive pest management approach than most French hybrids and Vitis vinifera cultivars, commonly found in the New York Finger Lakes region, Hudson Valley, Long Island, and southeastern Pennsylvania. Differences also exist between the regions in site-related insect, disease, and weed pressures.

This manual has been developed to guide growers through the various growth stages and provide them with research-based, field-tested IPM alternatives. It does not cover the entire spectrum of grape pests. Omission of a pest from this manual does not reflect on the pest's potential to cause economic damage. It indicates, rather, insufficient information for the development of an alternative management strategy for that pest. An attempt has been made to put in one place all the information on grape IPM that is contained in fact sheets, bulletins, and pest management recommendations prepared by faculty, staff, extension specialists, and agents from Cornell and Penn State Universities.