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Grape IPM in the Northeast

Value of Scouting for Grape Berry Moth and Grape Leafhopper

Grape IPM research and implementation projects have shown  Bulletin 138, Risk Assessment of Grape Berry Moth and Guidelines for Management of the Eastern Grape Leafhopper (appendix 2) (717k pdf file) to be an important tool in reducing insecticide applications while maintaining damage from berry moth below economic thresholds. While the value of scouting for grape berry moth using the GBM Risk Assessment protocol is known, there is always the question of economics. Does scouting pay if done by the average grower?

In 1991, Snyder, Weigle, and White compared a standard two-insecticide (Sevin) spray program with the GBM Risk Assessment, using average costs per acre. In the following example costs of insecticide, equipment, and labor were used to determine total costs for both management strategies. No labor costs for scouting were included in the GBM Risk Assessment total cost.

 

Total Costs/A

 Conventional

$31.76

 GBM Risk Assessment

-13.03

 Cost Savings

$18.73

This cost savings is an average. Growers' spray records from implementation projects showed a range from no reduction in sprays to total elimination of insecticide applications (an average reduction of 60 percent). What does this mean to a grower?

Estimated scouting time for GBM and grape leafhopper is one hour per block. A 50-acre grower with 10 vineyard blocks (10 hours of scouting) could save on average $936.50 (50 acres X $18.73/A). Scouting time would then be worth $93.65 an hour! Actual savings will vary depending on weather, acreage, block size, risk rating, and other factors.

Authors: Barry Shaffer and Tim Weigle