Exclusion netting, which protects berries from invasive spotted wing drosophila, a type of fruit fly, is shown at Cornell AgriTech in Geneva, New York, during experimental trials. Credit: Dara Stockton At the Berry Patch farm in Stephentown, New York, big, ripe blueberries are waiting to be picked. The farm is experiencing one of its best seasons to date thanks to better management of fall infestations of spotted wing drosophila (SWD), part of a research collaboration with Greg Loeb, professor of entomology at Cornell AgriTech, part of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. For the past few years, Loeb has been experimenting with a thin mesh covering, called exclusion netting, around berry crops as a means to prevent SWD infestation. The efficacy of the netting, at Berry Patch and in Cornell AgriTech research fields, is documented in a paper, “Factors Affecting the Implementation of Exclusion Netting to Control Drosophila Suzukii on Primocane Raspberry,” published in the journal Crop Protection . The Berry Patch, owned by Dale-Ila Riggs and Don Miles, has experienced the devastation SWD can cause in late ripening berries like blueberries and raspberries. In 2012, their blueberry crop was attacked, resulting in a loss of 40% […]

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