Early in 2015, entomologists in Michigan were concerned about the possible threat of the spotted wing drosophila (SWD) on tart cherries. The same pest had wreaked havoc on soft fruits and berries, so producers in the nation’s largest tart cherry production area had the right to be worried.
According to SpottedWing.org, the SWD is “an insect pest of economically valuable small fruit and tree fruit crops.” The specie is particularly well known in the Pacific Northwest, but has spread to established fruit growing regions across the country. It was discovered in 2014, that “insecticides that are effective against cherry fruit fly are not effective against SWD. So presence of the insect could result in the growers having to apply from 1.5 to 3 more sprays per season… using different materials.”[i] Experts consider the SWD a “game changer for tart cherry growers.”[ii]