Thursday, June 10, 2021

Periodical cicadas causing injury in vineyards and orchards

Hello, everyone, Just a note on something many of you are aware of - periodical cicadas are now actively laying eggs in grapevines in northern Virginia vineyards. Mature vines have been attractive as well as young vines. Adults are normally active for about 6 weeks. The first report of adults emerging from soil was on April 28, but this was quickly followed by a period of cool temperatures, greatly slowing cicada development. Just a few words on effective materials. Pyrethroids like Danitol and Baythroid are among the most effective materials. Assail, Sevin and Surround also have activity - some materials that are somewhat less effective have the benefit of less risk of inducing secondary pest outbreaks - especially mealybugs and mites. If you opt to use pyrethroids pay close attention to secondary pests for the subsequent weeks. More later, Doug

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Brood X of Periodical Cicada Active

Hello, everyone,
Periodical cicada does its most important injury by its oviposition behavior, using its ovipositor to make slits in shoots were eggs are deposited. The section of shoot or branch beyond this point dies, resulting in a brown flagging. Usually, this occurs beyond where fruit are growing, but this can vary and growers should be observant. The injury has its greatest impact on young fruit trees and grapevines, and these plants should be protected during periods of adult activity.
This year's appearance periodical cicada's Brood X has commenced. First appearance of emergence from the soil was seen on April 28 (thank you Adria Bordas for the notice!). Development was slowed by the period of cool weather we experienced. With warmer activity, adults are now becoming more active, and Mark Sutphin has noted this activity in Frederick County orchards. For more details on periodical cicada, follow this link for a 20-minute recorded presentation: There are 15 broods of periodical cicada (12 17-year forms, three 13-years forms in more southern areas). The details of distribution may change with changes in land use. Brood X (this year's brood) will be most intense in northern Virginia, north through eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. However, there are pockets in southwestern Virginia and North Carolina. If any of you note activity in southwestern counties, and in any counties around the edge of the range (see map), please le me know, so that we can update our records!
More later, Doug

Spotted Lanternfly Update

Hello, everyone,
Spotted lanternfly is the newest invasive our fruit growers are having to deal with - fortunately, it is still limited in geographic range, but this range continues to expand. First egg hatch this season was reported on April 28. Development was slowed by the period of cool weather we experienced, but more nymphs are now being seen. SLF continues to expand its most intensive infestation in Frederick County, with several counties added. Clarke and Warren Counties now have scattered breeding populations, and individual finds have been made in Shenandoah,Page, Madison, Fauquier, Prince William, and Augusta Counties. The rankings for some of these sites may increase as further data are collected. It is important to note that there may not be breeding populations in some of the latter counties because of the ability of individual SLF to hitchhike. The VDACS-designated quarantine zone has been expanded beyond Frederick County to include Clarke and Warren Counties. Grape is the most vulnerable commercial crop. In October we discovered SLF at a commercial vineyard for the first time. However, the SLF range now surrounds some vineyards, so further detections in some of our northern vineyards are likely this season. SLF has also been detected at commercial orchards in Frederick County; impacts will be followed there as well. Please let me know of detections you may make in your vineyards. In addition, you can report finds of SLF into the following portal: In order to move regulated articles from the infestations zone, certification is needed. This certification is available at this location:;jsessionid=E3FEE1B1C1921BA6848B382063FC0BDE?method=load&courseId=1066947 More later, Doug

Thursday, February 18, 2021

2021 State Berry School Rescheduled

Hello, everyone, Because of the inclement weather today, the state berry school I posted a few days ago, has been rescheduled. The new dates for the Virginia Berry School are Thursday, March 4th through Friday, March 5th. If you are registered already, you do not need to change anything, the link sent by VSU is still valid to log in. If you cannot attend on those days, the sessions will be available online after the event is over for viewing. If you know of anyone who still wants to register, we have reopened registration ( If you need a refund because you no longer wish to attend, please contact Jessica Harris ( and you will receive a full refund. We hope to see you there! Doug P.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Southeastern Strawberry School Webinar Series

Hello, everyone, The Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium, in which Virginia Tech is a member, has organized the Southeastern Strawberry School Webinar Series. These webinars will take place throughout 2021. This series is hosted by the University of Arkansas in collaboration with university specialists from across the southeastern region. This webinar series is sponsored by the Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium and is open *free* to county agents, and growers. Follow this link for more details, and information on how to sign up. Doug P.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

2021 State Berry School

Hello, everyone, A two-day, on-line berry school is scheduled for Feb 18-19, organized by our extension partners at Virginia State University. Follow this link to register for the 2021 Virginia Berry School, This two day event will provide information about the production potential, and health benefits of berry crops, including blueberry and blackberry. Please share this information with interested individuals. See you online! Doug Pfeiffer

2021 Orchard Fruit School next week

Hello, everyone, In most years, our orchard fruit schools span a full week, with separate schools held in our main orchard regions, from Patrick-Carroll on Monday through Winchester on Friday. Because of covid-19, this is not practical this year. A single state-wide commercial tree fruit school for Virginia (and surrounding states) growers and industry will be offered in 2021. It will be delivered as daily on-line virtual meetings beginning at 11:30am and lasting for approximately 90 minutes Monday-Thursday, February 15th-18th. The zoom link is at the bottom of this message. There is no registration or fee to attend. There will be no recertification offered through this program for your private pesticide applicator license issued by Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. If you need recertification, please reach out to your local Extension Agent for other offerings and opportunities. For PDF version of this announcement, click here. Proposed Agenda: Monday, February 15, 2021 at 11:30am Spray Bulletin Update: Dr. Chris Bergh, Dr. Sherif Sherif, Dr. Keith Yoder New AREC Pathologist at Your Service: Dr. Tony Wolf Lessons Learned in COVID – Packing House: Grower Panel Glaize Apple – Philip Glaize III; Crown Orchard – Sarah Chiles; Timber Ridge Fruit Farm – Kim Watt; VT Food Science - Dr. Laura Strawn; Turkey Knob Growers – Jamie Williams Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 11:30am 17-Year Periodical Cicada Brood X: The “Great Eastern Brood” in 2021: Dr. Chris Bergh Orchard and Environmental Factors Affecting Fruit Size in Apple and Peach: Dr. Sherif Sherif Lessons Learned in COVID – Retail Markets: Grower Panel West Oaks Farm Market – Levi Snapp; Woodbine Farm Market – Greta Liskey; Saunders Brothers – Marshall Saunders; Hill’s Orchard – Bethany Schaepler; Graves Mountain Lodge – Lynn Graves; Spring Valley Orchard - Eli Cook Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 11:30am Going Into 2021: Refresher on Strategy for Tree Fruit Disease Mgt.: Dr. Srdjan Acimovic The Horticultural Program at the AHS Jr. AREC: Current & Future Projects: Dr. Sherif Sherif Lessons Learned in COVID – Worker Housing: Grower Panel Fruit Hill/Frederick County Fruit Growers Assoc – Diane Kearns; Woodbine Farms – Greta Liskey; MAS Labor – Kerry Scott; Silver Creek Orchards - Ruth Saunders; Turkey Knob Growers – Jamie Williams Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 11:30am Leafhoppers: Different Species, Different Impacts: Dr. Doug Pfeiffer Spotted Lanternfly Update: Dr. Doug Pfeiffer Industry Updates: Industry Reps, Grower Organization Members, Government Agency Staff Lessons Learned in COVID – Pick Your Own & Agritourism: Grower Panel Marker-Miller Orchard – John Marker; Graves Mountain Lodge – Lynn Graves; Green Truck Farm – Brian Green If you wish to suggest questions for the Grower Panels – Lessons Learned in COVID, please email those to If you are an industry representative, grower organization leader, or government agency staff person who wishes to offer an update in the allotted time on Thursday, February 18th, please contact We look forward to seeing you virtually the week of February 15th. Please use the following Zoom meeting information to join each day (same login info): Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 863 2325 0715

Periodical cicadas causing injury in vineyards and orchards

Hello, everyone, Just a note on something many of you are aware of - periodical cicadas are now actively laying eggs in grapevines in north...

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