A new invasive species has begun flying around and pestering fruit growers in Oklahoma.
A Tulsa County grower recently captured a suspicious looking fly. The grower called the Tulsa County Extension Office who shipped the insect to Oklahoma State University’s Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology for identification. The OSU Plant Disease and Insect Diagnostics Laboratory confirmed the capture as the spotted wing drosophila.
The rather small vinegar fly or fruit fly attacks ripening or ripe soft fruits including blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry, grapes, raspberry, strawberry and tree fruits (peach, apricot, cherry, mulberry, nectarine, persimmon and plum). The SWD also has been known to attack melons and tomatoes.
“Spotted wing drosophila was first detected in the United States in California in 2008, where it eventually spread north to British Columbia and south all the way to Florida,” said Phil Mulder, EPP department head. “As recently as 2012, SWD was confirmed in Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky and Minnesota.”
Based on its rapid movement across the country and the fact these flies cannot fly very far, it is thought to be spread by humans transporting infested fruits.
“What makes SWD potentially more economically important than other fruit flies is its ability to cut into intact fruit, using their serrated ovipositor to inject eggs under the skin,” said Eric Rebek, OSU Extension entomologist. “This allows the subsequent larval stage to be present during ripening and can lead to detection in ripe fruit after harvest.”
Oklahoma fruit growers should be mindful of three important components in effective management of SWD. The first step is monitoring, which can be easily conducted through a simple trap baited with pure apple cider vinegar.
“Identification is the second component, which can be difficult for the untrained eye. These tiny flies are only 2–3 millimeters in length,” Mulder said. “Male SWD possess a shadowy spot near the apex of each forewing, while females lack these spots.”
The females have a distinct ovipositor with two rows of serrations longer and darker than other vinegar flies. For help with identification, samples can be submitted to the OSU Plant Disease and Insect Diagnostics Laboratory (http://entoplp.okstate.edu/pddl/pdidl).
“Once SWD have been detected, management activities should begin immediately,” said Jackie Lee, pesticide coordinator for the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at OSU. “From a cultural standpoint, growers can minimize the population buildup by harvesting on time and removing overripe fruit and wild hosts such as wild grape, raspberry and blackberry from nearby locations.”
If an insecticide is applied for control, selection should be based on several factors including harvest date, re-entry restrictions, impact on existing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs, beneficial insects and environmental conditions.
Spinosyns (Delegate®, Success® Entrust®) and organic pyrethrum (Pyganic®) insecticides have shown activity on this pest, but so have some of the carbamates (Sevin® or Lannate®), organophosphates (Imidan® or Malathion®) and pyrethroids (Asana®, Brigade®, Danitol®, Mustang-Max®). Azadirachtin (Aza-Direct®) also has proven to be effective.
“Irrespective of the choice of insecticide, it is imperative growers strictly follow restrictions regarding harvest and re-entry,” Lee said. “In addition, it is also important to rotate between the various chemical classes to avoid development of insecticide resistance.”
A new invasive species has begun flying around and pestering fruit growers in Oklahoma.
A Q&A on ‘Obamacare’ Court Rulings
On Tuesday, two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings on the legality of tax subsidies being provided to people who bought “Obamacare” health insurance policies in Oklahoma and 35 other states.
Here’s a look at the rulings’ potential impact in Oklahoma.
Q: I’m confused. What did the courts rule today?
A: A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals circuit in Washington, D.C., decided that the government can’t provide tax subsidies for Affordable Care Act plans purchased in 36 states where the federal government is operating the health insurance exchange. Oklahoma is one of the 36 states. A few hours later, the U.S. Court of Appeals circuit in Richmond, Va., issued a conflicting ruling that upheld the legality of the health-care law’s tax subsidies.
June healthy month for Oklahoma jobs
Nearly 10,000 new jobs in Oklahoma were created in June, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
Gov. Mary Fallin said Tuesday the state experienced one of the largest increases in employment in the nation in June. More than 9,600 additional people joined the state’s workforce in June.
The unemployment rate in June dropped to 4.5 percent, its lowest ratio in six years. June’s rate was down a percentage point from 4.6 percent in May and April, according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.
University of Central Oklahoma recognized as having friendly work environment
The Chronicle of Higher Education named the University of Central Oklahoma as one of the “2014 Great Colleges to Work For.” Central is the only higher education institution in the state recognized on the list and one of only a handful of institutions in the nation given the distinction of being named to the Honor Roll for being cited most often among all the recognition categories.
Central joins Duke, Baylor and Notre Dame on the list of the 10 universities named to the large institution honor roll.
Council approves funds toward ADA update
City Council members have approved a $398,800 professional services contract with Accessology, a McKinney, Texas, firm, to establish an Americans With Disabilities Act transition plan for the city.
Title II of the ADA requires state and local governments to make their programs and services accessible to persons with disabilities. It includes access to government facilities, programs and events and relevant policy changes.
Accessology was selected out of a pool of five finalists by a five-member committee to create Edmond’s plan. The firm will partner with Kimley-Horn and Associates, a design consulting firm located in North Carolina.
Edmond’s last ADA transition plan was created in 1992.
Panel approves jail services agreement
City Council members have approved renewal of the city’s jail services agreement with Oklahoma County for prisoners incarcerated at the county jail on city charges.
The current annual agreement expired June 30. It provides the feeding, care, housing and upkeep of said prisoners. Edmond uses the county jail when the city jail is at capacity.
The sheriff’s office proposed a slight increase from $46.25 to a $46.50 daily rate per prisoner. City staff said the current agreement is working satisfactorily and believe the proposed rate is reasonable. The new agreement took effect July 1. The city can hold prisoners in its current jail up to 10 days; a new jail with 10 male and five female cells will be available inside the new Public Safety Center next year when the facility opens.
Panel establishes 911 phone rate
City Council members have established the rate for the 911 emergency phone service fee for calendar year 2015
Council members set the rate at 3 percent of the recurring charges as designated by the tariff for exchange telephone service or its equivalent within Edmond beginning Jan. 1, 2015.
Fees collected by wireless and voice over Internet protocol companies are established under a separate statute. To continue collection of the locally authorized service fee on landline phone bills, local governments must approve a resolution on an annual basis to set the actual fee.
Governments must also through the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments notify the appropriate incumbent local exchange carrier and competitive local exchange carrier phone companies by Sept. 1, 2015.
ACOG recommended for calendar year 2015 to maintain service fees at their current level of 3 percent.
Council approves $2.5M extra for utility
City Council members have approved the transfer of a $2.5 million appropriation for Edmond Electric.
The action was needed due to higher natural gas prices. Those increased prices caused wholesale electric purchase costs to exceed the department’s budget estimates for Fiscal Year 2013-14. To cover the increased costs, a transfer of funds from the “Transfers” category to the “Other Services and Charges” category was necessary.
It will maintain state law requirements and not increase Edmond Electric’s budget.
The action occurred during Monday’s meeting and was approved unanimously.
Edmond entrepreneurs sleuth their way to success
Tripadvisor.com led Andrew Gipson to an industrial complex outside of Dublin, Ireland, about a year ago. The recent University of Central Oklahoma graduate was in the midst of an extended stay in Australia and the United Kingdom when he walked through the doors of XIT Live Escape Adventure Game. According to Tripdadvisor, it was the top attraction in Ireland. He had to go.
An hour later, Gipson, 24, exited the facility inspired.
McAlister’s Deli sets ‘Free Tea Day’ for July 24
McAlister’s Deli, a leading fast casual restaurant, will celebrate its sixth annual Free Tea Day on July 24.
Steffen and Farrow celebrates 40th anniversary
Steffen and Farrow Orthodontics recently had a ribbon cutting at its Edmond location, 1601 S. Boulevard, to celebrate its 40th anniversary.
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