by Margaret Haining Cowles
Dawn and Bob Betts, processing grape growers from Westfield, New York, have been active participants in and spokespersons for the Grape IPM program for at least five years. They have been key contacts in the flow of information both from the Grape IPM Program to growers on how to implement IPM practices and from growers back to the IPM Program on how its programs need to be improved.
Dawn and Bob scout their own vineyards in order to make informed pest management decisions. As a result, they are often able to assist the Grape IPM Program with detection of early pest outbreaks. They own agricultural weather equipment and are members of the Northeast Weather Association. They use growing-degree-day information from this equipment for pest monitoring and to determine when to thin their grapes.
The Bettses limit their use of insecticides by using the "grape berry moth risk assessment," an IPM protocol for managing the grape berry moth, a significant pest of grapes. When secondary pests such as the grape rootworm appear, Bob and Dawn work with the Grape IPM Program to scout for the pests and to help develop research information that will lead to preliminary economic thresholds.