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Cornell Fruit Resources

Resources for Commercial Growers

Economic and Environmental Impact

Spotted Wing Drosophila

Genus species: Drosophila suzukii

Infestation levels in highly susceptible fruit, such as fall raspberry, can reach 80% to 100% as the fruiting season progresses, without treatment with insecticide to protect the crop. Other delicate mid-summer and late-maturing fruit, such as blueberry, can suffer severe losses of 30% to 50%. Estimates of losses in peach and strawberry were placed at 10% in 2012.

Potential for harm to vulnerable fruit crops in NY due to SWD, an invasive fruit fly. Vulnerable NY fruit crops have a combined farm gate value of $94 M (source – NY, NASS, Fruit Statistics. 2011). Research in 2012 by Cornell University agricultural scientists projected that, without protection, $7 M in NY fruit value could be lost to NY’s farmers due to SWD.

 Fruit Crop  Year  Acreage    Value of
Production (M)
Loss (%)
 Loss in
Value (M)
 Raspberry  2010*      500  $   3.746    80%  $ 2.997
 Blueberry  2010      900  $   4.521    30%  $ 1.356
 Strawberry  2010   1,400  $   6.895    10%  $ 0.702
 Peach  2010   1,600  $   7.032    10%      —
 Sweet Cherry  2010      700  $   2.255  unknown      —
 Tart Cherry  2010   1,500  $   1.360  unknown      —
 Grape  2010  37,000  $ 68.400      2%  $ 1.368
 Total  —  43,600  $ 94.200      —  $ 7.113

*No data for raspberry in NY will be collected after 2010. Carroll, Heidenreich and Loeb, 12/20/2012.

Fruit destined for a processing market may be at risk of rejection due to presence of larvae. Home canning and processing may generate complaints from customers that notice SWD larvae in prepared fruit. Farm market fruit may be at risk from SWD development unless displayed in a cooler — refrigeration slows or stops SWD development in fruit.

In areas of the US where SWD has been established longer, growers of berry crops highly susceptible to SWD have resorted to weekly insecticide applications, thereby increasing economic and environmental costs, as well as potentially disrupting established IPM programs.

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