Staying ahead of mite populations in vineyards

With rising temperatures, winemakers are encouraged to stay on the lookout for mite populations growing in vineyards. Mites can quickly become a problem with females laying up to 200 eggs which can develop into adults in about a week. Katie Driver, Northern California technical services manager for UPL, said early and frequent scouting is important to avoid mite problems.

“There’s no substitute for being proactive in diligently researching your culture and determining your treatment threshold level and starting early with your treatments before a population explodes,” Driver noted. “With the spring conditions we had, hot and dry, don’t rule out problems earlier in the season and be surprised. So scouting early and often will really help combat this mite pressure. Then when you decide you’ve reached that treatment threshold and decide to treat, coverage will be key.

The mites thrive in hot, dry conditions and usually populate under the leaves, which can create challenges for spray applications. Driver explained that making applications before the canopy becomes too dense will help miticides be more effective. Slowing down during applications is also important to achieve adequate coverage in vineyards. Growers will also want to select equipment that will be most appropriate for the mite problems of their particular operations. There are several types of miticide options available to take care of mite populations.

“You need to use the right miticide at the right time and UPL offers miticides with the flexibility to fit many grower programs. We have VIGILANT and ACRAMITE which are IRAC 20D and they provide outstanding spider mite protection at all ages,” Driver said. “We also offer KANEMITE which belongs to this same IRAC 20D and like VIGILANT and ACRAMITE it controls mites at all life stages.”

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