Unknown Grape Vine Disease & Gypsy Moth Treatment Begins

Unknown Grape Vine Disease & Gypsy Moth Treatment Begins

Unknown Grape Vine Disease & Gypsy Moth Treatment Begins

I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

Associate Professor of Virology at WSU, Naidu Rayapati, is conducting studies on a new virus that is causing significant fruit loss in wine grapes.

RAYAPATI: It’s new in the sense we have been observing these symptoms before, but we were under the impression that this is part of the leaf roll disease complex. But now we realize as we did some additional research that some of these symptoms are not entirely because of leaf roll disease. It turns out that it is a new virus infecting grape vines.

This new virus is quickly affecting wine growing regions across the country, and is detrimental to both the plant and the fruit. During the 2012 season studies showed that the disease caused significant reduction in fruit yield, as much as 22% in Merlot and nearly 30% in Cabernet Franc. Origins of the disease are yet unknown. Rayapati and his team are using their research to figure out the likely origin and how best to combat the virus.

RAYAPATI: We are trying to work not only with growers but also with the nurseries within Washington state as well as the WSDA - the unified approach to not only minimize the spread of this virus problem, but also prevent any future introduction that could cause damage to the industry.

Gypsy moth caterpillar eradication treatments began this week in Tukwila. The treatments were jointly approved by the WSDA and the USDA after a thirty day review period on two environmental documents. Operators are using ground equipment to apply a biological insecticide to trees, shrubs and other foliage gypsy moth caterpillars prefer.


I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Ag Information Network. 

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