Agronomic Minute: Staying Ahead of Mite Populations in Vineyards

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Mite Populations

With temperatures rising, growers are encouraged to stay on the lookout for mite populations growing in vineyards. Mites can quickly become an issue with females laying up to 200 eggs that can develop into adults in about a week. Technical Services Manager for Northern California for UPL, Katie Driver said that scouting early and often is important for staying ahead of mite problems.

“Nothing will replace being proactive by diligently scouting your crop and determining your treatment threshold level and getting in early with your treatments before a population explodes,” Driver noted. “With the spring conditions that we’ve had being hot and dry, don’t rule out problems earlier in the season and get surprised. So, scouting early and often is really going to help combat that mite pressure. Then when you do decide that you’ve reached that treatment threshold and you decide to treat, coverage is going to be key.”

Mites thrive in hot and dry conditions and will generally populate under the leaves which can create challenges for spray applications. Driver explained that making applications before a canopy becomes too dense will help miticides be more effective. Slowing down while making applications is also important for getting adequate coverage in the vineyards. Growers will also want to select the material that will be most appropriate to their particular operations’ mite issues. There are several different types of miticide options available for taking care of mite populations.

“You have 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 protection from spider mites at all ages,” said Driver. “We also offer KANEMITE which belongs to that same IRAC 20D and like VIGILANT and ACRAMITE, it controls mites at all life stages.”

Listen to the full episode below.