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Webinar to alert growers of new wine grape pest

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The white-headed grape leaffolder is affecting vineyards in the Pacific Northwest.

Researchers from Washington State University and the Washington State Wine Commission will hold a webinar March 4 to discuss the white-headed grape leaffolder, a relatively new pest that's showing up in vineyards in the Pacific Northwest.

The caterpillar was discovered a few years ago in certain vineyards in the Yakima and Columbia Valleys in Washington, according to a release. While leaf-eating caterpillars are commonly found in California and eastern North American vineyards, they have not—until now—been a problem in the Evergreen State, the researchers say.

Pest populations have so far been localized in a small number of vineyards, but near defoliation of young vineyards has occurred and there is potential for contamination of fruit from the caterpillars, the scientists warn.

WSU entomologist David James will present findings from a three-year study that was funded by the university, the wine commission and the Auction of Washington Wines  His research is working to determine the economic impact of the pest, population densities that impact yields and fruit quality and when control methods are necessary, according to the university.

He will also identify effective insecticides that fit integrated pest management strategies and have minimal impact on beneficial insects, the webinar's organizers say.

The free webinar will begin at 12:30 p.m. To register, click here.

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