Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) Was Not An Issue For Saskatoons in 2017
POSTED IN For Growers ON 11/3/2017
While Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD), an invasive species of fruit fly, did significant damage to fruit crops in Michigan in 2017, including cherries, raspberries and blueberries, there were literally zero reports of damage to saskatoon berry crops.
Saskatoon berries are harvested earlier in the summer than many other fruit varieties, which may have helped some. However, the SWD counts rose much earlier this year than in the past few years, which provided opportunities for damage, yet growers were spared.
The saving grace may be related to the character of the fruit itself. While saskatoons look much like blueberries, they are actually a pome fruit, a family of fruit that includes apples and pears.
The combination of season timing and fruit characteristics provide hope that, in this changing environment, saskatoons will remain a good crop for production, consumer satisfaction and economic return for growers.
For more information on Spotted Wing Drosophila in Michigan, go to http://www.ipm.msu.edu/invasive_species/spotted_wing_drosophila
To learn more about saskatoon berries, keep reading on this site, and visit one or more of our members in July 2018 that offers U-Pick and/or a variety of products made with yummy saskatoon berries.
Background (From Michigan State University)
The Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) is a vinegar fly of East Asian origin that can cause damage to many fruit crops. This small insect has been in Hawaii since the 1980s, was detected in California in 2008, spread through the West Coast in 2009, and was detected in Florida, Utah, the Carolinas, Wisconsin and Michigan for the first time in 2010. Because the flies are only a few millimeters long and cannot fly very far, natural dispersion between states is unlikely. Human-assisted transportation is a more likely cause of the recent rapid spread. It appears that this insect has become widely established through North America.