Beyond the Grape: Fruit Wines Offer a Fresh Harvest of Innovations

By Dr. Molly Kelly, Enology Extension Educator, Department of Food Science

Penn State Extension hosted a Fruit Winemaking Workshop on January 29th, 2020 at the Historic Acres of Hershey. The following is a review of the presentation given by Dominic Rivard, internationally-renowned wine professional with over 20 years of experience in wine production. Both a sommelier and winemaker, he specializes in fruit, dessert and ice wines. Dominic is the founder of the Fruit Wines of Canada Association and WinePlanet Consulting and promotes fruit wine sales around the world.

Dominic Rivard presenting at recent Penn State extension workshop

Below is a brief summary of his presentation.

Fruit wine is not a new idea, in fact early American agricultural settlers used fruit wine to preserve seasonal berries. Currently fruit wine consumers are interested in new and unique fruit wines that are local and are looking for a variety of options. Fruit wines are usually refreshing and are relatively easy to drink with many meals and provide an option for those who like sweeter wine. 

There are also many documented health benefits with fruit wines such as blueberry wine which is high in Oxygen Radical Capacity (ORC) or antioxidants. The sparkling blueberry wine that was served at the event from Old York Cellars in Ringoes, NJ is advertised as having increased levels of antioxidants.

One advantage of producing fruit wines is that fruit is produced year- round throughout parts of North America. One can also use frozen fruit allowing fruit wine producers to have 4+ production cycles per year.

Fruit wines are becoming accepted as a viable alternative to those made from grapes. They also have export potential. For example, in Asia, a wine is a wine, it does not matter what fruit it is made from. In India fruit wines are sold in supermarkets, five-star hotels and restaurants. Fruit wine is already part of some Asian cultures such as Japan and Korea.

When creating a fruit wine one can begin with a grape base with fruit extract sometimes referred to as “Arbor Mist Style”. One can use a grape base with fruit juice referred to as “Wild Vine Style”. Using fruit juice or concentrate creates a more premium fruit wine or “Serious Style” of fruit wine. There are many different styles of this type of wine including low alcohol, fruit fusion, off-dry, sweet fruit, fortified, sparkling and cryo-extracted style. All of these are unique in their production and create a different type of wine.

Some of the wines tasted at the event were from Pennsylvania including a strawberry wine from Benigna’s Creek Winery in Klingerstown, a peach wine from Shade Mountain Winery in Middleburg and a cranberry wine from Armstrong Winery in Halifax. These wines were well received and many attendees were interested in their production practices. 

There are four main steps in producing a fruit wine: pre-fermentation processing, fermentation management, post-fermentation processing and aging. During the pre-fermentation process one must have a plan for harvesting and sourcing the initial fruit product. Then the fruit is crushed, pressed and initial sulfite added. One must also decide if they are keeping the skins on during fermentation or removing them.

Different strains of yeast and bacteria might be added during this time before fermentation begins. During the management process, temperatures must be taken to ensure that it is in the optimal yeast fermenting range. Enzymes should be added to assist in the breakdown of the fruit and complex polysaccharides, allowing the yeast to have substrates to ferment the sugars in the fruit. 

Processing ends with the clarification of the wine through filtering, ensuring its enzymatic stability and adjusting the acidity before bottling occurs. After the wine is finished there are many laboratory analyses options for the final product.

The steps listed above are similar to those utilized in grape wine production. There are, however, differences in production depending on the type of fruit used. For additional information you may want to reference Dominic’s book “The Ultimate Fruit Winemaker’s Guide” or other fruit wine production reference. Please contact me with any questions.

COVID-19 Wine and Grape Industry Survey

Dear wine and grape industry member,

The Penn State Wine & Grape Team wants to confirm our commitment to providing you with reliable and timely information to help you during the COVID-19 crisis. 

So that we better understand your situation and the impact that the outbreak may be having on your business,we ask that all of our readers who are involved in either a commercial winery, a winery tasting room and/or a vineyard where grapes are grown for commercial production take part in this 15-minute survey and respond by Friday, April 10.

Please feel free to forward the survey link to others who may not be receiving our newsletters, following us on Facebook, etc. Your participation will help us to be more response to your needs. 

Click here to access the survey.

Thank you,

The Penn State wine & Grape Team

Online Pesticide Recertification Credits

By Andy Muza, Penn State Extension – Erie County

All Penn State Extension meetings have been cancelled at least through May 15, 2020 (which date is subject to change) due to concerns concerning COVID – 19.                              

Due to meeting cancellations, many Pennsylvania growers with Private Applicator licenses that expire on 3/31/20 are concerned about acquiring their necessary credits before their license expiration date. At this time, PDA is considering extending the March 31, 2020 deadline for Private Applicators and we will inform you if/when an official decision has been made.

If you need either Core or Category Credits by the Tuesday, March 31, 2020 deadline the following Online Recertification Courses are available:

Note: Applicators can only take each online course ONCE in their lifetime for recertification credits. The same course cannot be taken more than once for credit because the content does not change.

Note: If you take and pass the above courses by the March 31, 2020 deadline, PDA checks the results several times a month.  
Do not pay your renewal online (checks not allowed until further notice) until you have verified with PA Plants (https://www.paplants.pa.gov/PesticideApplicator/ExamSearch.aspx) that your credits have been applied to your license. If your Pesticide License expires on March 31, 2020 deadline and you have not yet acquired the necessary credits, there is a one year grace period when your license is held in escrow. That means that you will not have to take the pesticide examination over again as long as you get the required credits and submit your renewal fee within one year of the expiration date. However, you cannot purchase or apply Restricted Use Pesticides during the grace period, even if you’ve purchased the pesticides while your license was still valid. 

  • Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s approved online recertification courses – Find other approved online recertification courses at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s website at: www.paplants.pa.gov. Highlight Pesticide Programs on the left hand side, then click on Recertification Course Locator. From there, select Online for the meeting type, choose the category you need, from the dropdown menu (e.g., PC – Private Category) and click on Search. A list of meetings will appear and to find more information about the course, click on Details in the first column. Note: A successfully completed course number will count as recertification credits only Once in the lifetime of the applicator.

What’s Trending? An Update on Today’s Wine Consumer and Product Trends, Part 1

By Dr. Kathy Kelley, Professor of Horticultural Marketing and Business Managment

Last week, I spoke at the 2020 License to Steal National Wine Marketing Conference held in conjunction with the Eastern Winery Exposition in Lancaster, PA. During one of my sessions, I presented data and insights that describe current alcohol consumption, product trends, and food trends to be aware of that could influence what wines consumers might drink with trendy meals and flavors.

This post includes the information I presented, updated data and additional sources, and elaborates on specific topics.

How many of us are drinking alcohol?

According to Gallup, 65% of U.S. adults age 18 and older had “occasion to use alcoholic beverages such as liquor, wine or beer” in 2019. Since data were first recorded in 1939, this percentage has ranged between 56 and 71% (Saad, 2019). The average number of alcoholic drinks consumed during a week was 4.0, which is slightly lower than the number Gallup recorded from 2002 to 2010 (4.6 drinks per week), but higher than the number for the period of 1996 to 2001 (3.4 drinks per week) (Saad, 2019).

Data published by the Wine Market Council, collected in June 2019, is only from adults age 21 and older (Wine Market Council, 2019), and reveals that:

  • 75% of participants drank alcohol, even if consumption was “infrequent” and “less than every 2-3 months.”
  • 12 to 16% of participants in each generation responded that they were “high frequency wine drinkers,” and consumed wine more than once a week.
  • 32% of iGen (a.k.a Gen Z) participants drank wine “occasionally” (once every two to three months to, at most, once a week), which was significantly higher than all other generations reported (a range of 24 to 26%).
  • 18% of iGen did not consume alcohol, which is a significantly lower percentage than Baby Boomer participants (31%) and those aged 74 and older (37%).

What alcoholic beverages are consumers drinking?

According to Silicon Valley Bank’s 2020 State of the Wine Industry report (McMillan, 2020), based on data from the Nielsen Homescan Panel (52 weeks ending June 29, 2019), for those who consumed alcohol:

  • 72% of panelists drank beer (including flavored malt beverage and ciders)
  • 68% drank wine
  • 48% drank spirits

When segmented based on which beverages participants consumed:

  • 18% drank beer exclusively
  • 15% drank wine exclusively
  • 6% drank spirits exclusively
  • 19% drank beer and wine
  • 8% drank beer and spirits
  • 7% drank wine and spirits
  • 27% drank beer, wine, and spirits

What about the frequency in which consumers drink wine?

The data below are from two Wine Market Council publications for consumers age 21 and older who drank wine. The first percentage is from a June 2019 survey (Wine Market Council, 2019), and those in parenthesis are from a study conducted in June/July 2017 (Wine Market Council, 2017).

  • For both 2017 and 2019, 35% of wine consumers were “high frequency” drinkers as they consumed wine more than once a week 
    • 9.2% consumed wine every day (9% in 2017)
    • 25.8% drank wine “more than once a week, but not every day” (26%)
  • 65% were “occasional” drinkers and consumed the beverage less often
    • 17.6% drank wine once a week (19%)
    • 25.2% drank wine 2 to 3 times a month (22%)
    • 10.9% drank wine once a month (13%)
    • 11.3% only drank wine every 2 to 3 months (11%)

As can be seen, only a 0.2% shift occurred between the two “high frequency” categories, whereas changes among the four “occasional” groups were a bit higher.

With interest in how consumption differs between generations, a report published by Mintel (2019) revealed that of the survey participants, age 22 and older, who drank wine within three months before the study:

  • 58% of Millennials reported drinking red wine, and 59% drank white.
  • Similar percentages of Gen X participants drank red and white wine, 57% for both types.
  • Slightly more Baby Boomers and WWII/Swing/Silent generations, 62 and 63%, respectively, drank red wine in the past three months, with lower percentages, 54 and 53%, respectively, responding that they drank white wine during that period.

Data for rosé, champagne/sparkling wine, and wine cocktails (e.g., sangria, mimosas) were also presented, with higher percentages of Millennials responding that they drank rosé (36%), champagne/sparkling (37%), and wine cocktails (30%), than Boomers (28, 15, and 14%, respectively).

Since only individuals age 22 and older in 2019 participate, the survey excluded members of Generation Z, born between 1997 and 2010/2012 (the end dates for the generation vary based on source).

What alcoholic beverages are wine consumers drinking instead? Are consumers choosing low-to-no alcoholic beverages than in the past? If so, why?

In January 2020, Wine Intelligence reported the alcoholic beverages that “regular wine drinkers” who were “switching to” at the Wine Data 2020 conference. Their research revealed that:

  • 55% of respondents transitioned to beer,
  • 55% hard seltzers,
  • 46% vodka,
  • 45% whiskey, and
  • 39% to craft beer (Todorov, 2020).

According to Dale Stratton, Wine Market Council president, who presented at Wine Data 2020 in January, “52 percent of people aged 21 to 29 years old say they either rarely or never drink wine because they do not like the taste …that’s an opportunity…Make wines that they do like. Educate them on different types of wine and get them into the category” (Todorov, 2020).

As far as projected growth for these individual categories:
the hard seltzer category may triple by 2023 (IWSR, 2020), while the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for North American beer market may increase by 4.7% from 2018 to 2023 (Market Insight Reports, 2019), and a 2.7% CAGR for spirits for the period of 2020 to 2023 (Statista, 2020).

In addition to these data, the market for low- and no-alcohol (LNA) products is also expected to grow. Data obtained from the IWSR Drinks Market Analyze (https://www.theiwsr.com/global-low-and-no-alcohol-strategic-study/) indicate that the CARG for LNA is as follows for the 2018 to 2023 period:

  • Low-alcohol beverage: 25.5%
  • No-alcohol options: 2.4% (IWSR, personal communication).

The majority, 80%, of LNA beverages are beers, with the remaining 20% comprised of wine and liquors (Neo and Lim, 2020). Several popular global brands, Heineken, for example, are entering the LNA market with products such as the zero-alcohol Heineken 0.0, which is to have “the same characteristic fruity notes, but with a soft malty body” compared to the original Heineken Beer (https://www.heineken.com/us/heineken00/faq). This product has 69 calories for an 11.2 oz bottle compared to the original Heineken Beer with 142 calories, 11 carbs, and 5% ABV (http://bit.ly/2WkpTzs).

With evidence indicating an interest among consumers and beverage companies in exploring LNA, one may wonder whether LNA is meant to replace the original full alcohol offering. According to Heineken, non-alcoholic beer is “meant to complement rather than replace beer,” giving the consumer the ability to enjoy a beer “during any occasion [at] any time of the day” (Neo and Lim, 2020).

A 2019 article published by Wine Business International included excerpts from a global IWSR report about LNA beverages, citing that “one-third of 21- to 24-year-olds and 35- to 44-year-olds say they consume low- or no-alcoholic drinks two or three times a week” (Siegel, 2019).

What about Gen Z and their attitude and behaviors concerning alcohol? Why might this be?

Based on a 2018 study (Taylor, 2018), members of Generation Z drank “over 20% less per capita than millennials did at the same age,” and that “64% of Gen Z respondents said that they expected to drink alcohol less frequently when they grew older than today’s older generations do.”

And, while it assumed that this generation might drink less alcohol than previous generations, only time will tell whether these sentiments will become realities.

Could this present an opportunity for artisanal grape juices?

Fairview Wine and Cheese Estate outside Paarl, South Africa, “has introduced a refreshing substitute for wine in the form of EGA (spelt age in reverse) …an incomparable, alcohol free product…. Combining the vibrant flavours of grapes, pomegranates and Rooibos, this crisp and zesty drink is an excellent alternative to white wine with a meal” (https://news.wine.co.za/news.aspx?NEWSID=11071).

Rooibos has “high levels of antioxidants and lack of caffeine and has for centuries been prized for its healing properties by the indigenous people of South Africa. EGA is scintillating salmon pink in colour with characteristic Rooibos and pomegranate aromas”

Bottles of EGA stocked at Fairview Wine and Cheese Estate, South Africa

In France, Alain Milliat “professes a disruptive approach at his core: instead of regarding juices as a way to consume fruits, he sees them as a completely separate experience of pleasure, developed to be greater than the mere fruits that compose them. Like any greater composer, he designs them to offer aficionados a tasting full of emotion” (https://www.alain-milliat.com/en/content/7-fondateur).

A few of the “exquisite juices” he has developed from grapes include:

  • a sparkling Muscadelle grape juice (0.75L for 9.95 euros/$10.78 US 3/19/2020),
  • Gamay red grape juice, sauvignon grape juice, chardonnay white grape juice, cabernet rosé grape juice, and a merlot red grape juice (all are 0.75L for 3.95 euros/$4.28 US).

What about focusing on wine cocktails?

As reported above, 30% of Millennials consume wine cocktails (e.g., sangria and mimosa). Still, there are many other concoctions and options that wineries, restaurants, etc. could suggest that their customers create with wine as a key ingredient. According to David Jackson, SVP Trade Relations, COO for the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, “Having a well-made, handcrafted cocktail is definitely where things have been going for the past few years” (Swartz, 2019).

How can wineries take advantage of these trends? A quick search on Pinterest using the term “wine cocktail recipes” yields an immense amount of suggestions. For example, long island wine tea, sangria Moscow mule, sparkling apple cider sangria, and many more.

Perhaps a spin on one or more of the best-selling cocktails in the U.S. could be a point of differentiation. These are, in order of ranking:

  • Margarita
  • Martini
  • Old Fashioned
  • Mimosa
  • Moscow mule

And, while your tasting room and/or restaurant might have a charge per glass of wine, know that “margaritas in the U.S. cost an average of $9.49,” which might help in justifying offering a cocktail menu (The Nielsen Company, 2019), based on the cost of production inputs.

Additional, consider the characteristics that Beverage Daily released in their predictions for tends for “2020 and Beyond,” which highlighted flavors, colors, and textures (Newhart, 2020):

  • Flavors
    • Botanicals (basil, cilantro, lavender, sorrel, and orange peel), 
    • citrus (grapefruit, tangerine, blood orange, Meyer lemon, yuzu), 
    • white ginger, and 
    • exotic (dragon fruit, coconut, prickly pear)
  • Bright colors & textures 
    • Boba, nitrogen-infusions, whipped ingredients, basil seeds

What other wine beverages could you explore?

As discussed in a blog post published in February 2019, sangria and rosé experienced considerable positive growth for 2018 and 2019 (Kelley, 2019).

In addition to drinking the beverage “straight,” Lolea, one of the sangria brands mentioned in the 2019 post, offers several recipes using their product:

  • Lolea Julep,
  • Lolea Ice tea,
  • Loalea passion “a citrus cocktail with the fruitiness of passion fruit and sweet tones of vanilla, Lolea no. 2, passion fruit pulp, vodka and vanilla syrup” (https://sangrialolea.com/cocktail.php).

Any while much of the branding efforts I have seen for rosé still focus on the female Millennial, in early 2019, UFC champ Conor McGregor launched his own Champ Champ Rosé.”

Here is an excerpt from the article: “I am very excited and proud to introduce Champ Champ Rosé to the world,” said McGregor. “People who know me know I am a proper whiskey man through and through, but they also know I enjoy having a glass of rosé wine on a hot summer’s day (Langeler, 2019).

In part 2, I’ll provide more data and insight into the health and wellness trends, trending food flavors and suggested wine pairings, CBD infused alcoholic beverages and more.

References

IWSR. 2020. US Bartenders See Growing Demand for Low-Sugar/Low-Alcohol Drinks, Hard Seltzers, and Spicy Cocktails. IWSR Drinks Market Analysis. https://www.theiwsr.com/wp-content/uploads/Press-Release-IWSR-US-Bartender-Study-with-infographic.pdf

Langeler, W. 2019. Conor McGregor Launches New “Champ Champ Rose” Brand. Wiskeryriff.com https://www.whiskeyriff.com/2019/04/01/conor-mcgregor-launches-new-champ-champ-rose-brand/

Market Insights Reports. 2019. North America Beer Market Rising Trends and Global Outlook 2019 to 2023. Marketwatch.com https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/north-america-beer-market-rising-trends-and-global-outlook-2019-to-2023-2019-12-20?mod=mw_quote_news

McMillan, R. 2020. State of the US Wine Industry 2020.  Silicon Valley Bank Wine Division. https://www.svb.com/globalassets/library/uploadedfiles/reports/svb-2020-state-of-the-wine-industry-report-final.pdf

Mintel. 2019. Wine-US-November 2019. 

Neo, P., and G.Y. Lim. 2020. Booze-Free Growth Imminent: Low-to-No Alcoholic Beverages Set to Boom in APAC. Beveragedaily.com https://www.beveragedaily.com/Article/2020/03/12/Booze-free-growth-imminent-Low-to-no-alcoholic-beverages-set-to-boom-in-APAC

Newhart, B. 2020. New Year, New Drinks: What to Watch in US Beverage in 2020 and Beyond. Beveragedaily.com https://www.beveragedaily.com/Article/2020/01/02/2020-trends-to-watch-in-US-beverage

Saad, L. 2019. Liquor Ties Wine as Second-Favorite Adult Beverage in U.S. Gallup, Inc. https://news.gallup.com/poll/264335/liquor-ties-wine-second-favorite-adult-beverage.aspx

Siegel, J. 2019. No- and Low-Alcohol wine in the US. Wine Business International. https://www.wine-business-international.com/wine/analysis/no-and-low-alcohol-wine-us

Statista, 2020. Alcoholic Drinks Report 2019 – Spirits. Statista.com https://www.statista.com/outlook/10020000/109/spirits/united-states#market-revenue

Swartz, K. 2019. 11 Alcohol Trends to Watch in 2019-2020. Beveragedynamics.com https://beveragedynamics.com/2019/07/10/11-alcohol-trends-to-watch-in-2019-20/

Taylor, K. 2018. Millennials are Dragging Down Beer Sales — But Gen Z Marks a ‘Turning Point’ That Will Cause an Even Bigger Problem for the Industry. Business Insider https://www.businessinsider.com/millennials-gen-z-drag-down-beer-sales-2018-2

The Nielsen Company. 2019. All Mixed Up: A Look at Cocktail Preferences Across the On-Premise Landscape. https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2019/all-mixed-up-a-look-at-cocktail-preferences-across-the-on-premise-landscape/

Todorov, K. 2020. Perfect Storm: Consumer Moderate Alcohol Consumption and Embrace New Beverage Options. Winebusiness.com https://www.winebusiness.com/news/?go=getArticle&dataId=225353

Wine Market Council. 2017. 2017 Wine Market Council Wine Consumer Segment Slide Handbook. http://winemarketcouncil.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017_WMC_Wine_Consumer_Segmentation_Slide_Handbook2.pdf

Wine Market Council. 2019. 2019 Wine Market Council Wine Consumer Segment Slide Handbook. PDF download: http://bit.ly/2QsTMdb

Preparing for spotted lanternfly management in vineyards in 2020

By Heather Leach, Extension Associate, Penn State Entomology

Quarantine and Permits

In March 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) added 12 counties to the spotted lanternfly (SLF) quarantine, creating a total of 26 counties under a state-imposed quarantine: Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Blair, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and York. 

SLF populations are also found in 5 additional states: New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and West Virginia. 

A county is placed under quarantine when evidence of a reproducing population of SLF, such as an egg mass, is found by the PDA. The newly added 12 counties are not completely infested, but rather have a few municipalities with a known infestation, which led to a quarantine being placed on the entire county. This action is taken as a precaution and reflects the importance of awareness for early detection and stopping this pest in these new areas. The SLF quarantine regulates the movement of plants, plant-based materials, and outdoor household items out of the quarantine area to keep this pest from spreading. More information on how to comply with the quarantine can be found on our website

Businesses/organizations that operate in or travel through quarantined counties are required to obtain a SLF permit. A permit shows other businesses and states that a company has done its due diligence to avoid transporting the pest to new areas. This applies to the entire county quarantined, not just the affected municipalities. Businesses should plan to become permitted as soon as possible and may send any questions regarding the permit to SLFPERMIT@pa.gov. Additionally, businesses may check whether they need a permit by using PDA’s online resource

Because the populations in the new areas are much smaller compared to the original population in southeastern Pennsylvania, it is critical that we do our part to prevent further spread of this insect to new areas. If you see it, destroy it, take a photo if possible and make note of when, where and how many were seen. Then, report it by calling the SLF hotline at 1-888-422-3359 or report it online . Be sure that you do not move any life stage of SLF, including the egg masses. Newly found SLF populations, such as those in the newly added quarantine area, will be intensively managed by the Pennsylvania and U.S. Departments of Agriculture with the goal of local eradication. To that end, regulatory representatives may need access to properties near the infestation area to conduct treatments or monitoring. We encourage cooperation with these treatments. These officials will always provide proper documentation and identification.

Research

Research is ongoing at Penn State to evaluate best management practices for SLF in vineyards and the impact SLF has on grapevines. A few of the PSU research projects planned for 2020 in vineyards are below. Note that there are many other projects planned (not listed here) that will help to improve our understanding of SLF biology, behavior, and management. In particular, we are looking to evaluate biopesticides (the commercially available fungal pathogen, Beauveria bassiana) on a landscape-scale. If this proves effective, aerial application could be possible and represent a way to control SLF over large areas. Additionally, researchers from USDA are currently evaluating biological control (parasitoid wasps) to potentially be released in the U.S. for control of SLF. This is a long-term program and will require several more years of data to determine if release might be possible. Stay tuned for updates on this research!

  • Determine the effect of SLF feeding on grapevine physiology (led by Michela Centinari) 
  • Evaluate insecticides and biopesticides for SLF efficacy (led by David Biddinger)
  • Evaluate phenology and document damage in vineyards (led by Heather Leach)
  • Evaluate netting and traps for SLF in vineyards (led by Heather Leach)
  • Evaluate in-field insecticide programs for SLF control (led by Heather Leach) 
  • Evaluate the ability for SLF to transmit viruses (e.g. Red Blotch, Pierce’s Disease, etc.) (led by Cristina Rosa)

Vineyard Management

Given the large numbers of egg masses laid in the fall and the mild winter, we expect a large population of SLF in 2020. Significant damage has been reported from SLF feeding on grapevines, including increased susceptibility to winter injury, failure of vines to set fruit in the subsequent year, and death of vines. SLF should be considered as a landscape-level pest– it has a broad host range and is not just present in your vineyard. When you consider management, remember to think about wooded areas surrounding your vineyard and other possible hosts they may feed on. 

No SLF currently in your area: Tree-of-heaven is a preferred host for SLF and is also invasive; it is frequently found on wood edges or in disturbed habitats. Scout for tree-of-heaven on and around your property. Monitor tree-of-heaven season-long for SLF, along with your vineyard edge (especially vines near the wood edge). Train all vineyard employees on the proper identification of SLF and to report it if they see it. Monitoring (visual inspection) should be emphasized in the late summer/early fall when detection of SLF as adults is most likely. 

Low SLF populations: Typically, you will see only a few SLF in your first 1-2 years after detecting SLF in your vineyard. Likely, this represents SLF beginning to start a population in your area but is still in low numbers. In subsequent years, we tend to see large populations that infest vineyards and are most problematic beginning in late August through October. As above, monitor your vineyard edge and any tree-of-heaven in your area for SLF. See below for information regarding thresholds and insecticide recommendations, but you may not need to intensively manage your vineyard until populations grow larger. 

High SLF populations: There may be a large number of egg masses in your vineyard and the surrounding landscape resulting from last year’s population. While we have not fully evaluated egg mass removal in vineyards as a management tactic, many growers feel that this did not help them control adult SLF later in the season. Moreover, only Lorsban (chlorpyrifos) has been found to be effective at killing egg masses, and nymphs are much easier to kill. Based on our observations, SLF nymphs are seldom problematic in vineyards. In mid-May through early June, after SLF hatch, you should scout for SLF nymphs on your vines. If large numbers are found (~15 per vine or more), we suggest you apply a contact insecticide. Nymphs are fairly easy to control with good coverage and several insecticide options are available, including products that will also help with Japanese Beetle (e.g. carbaryl). See a full list of insecticides for SLF here.

Expect adult SLF to begin arriving in low numbers to your vineyard in late July. On average, there are 30 days between first adult detection and peak SLF activity in vineyards. Regular scouting is imperative during the high dispersal phase of adult SLF, which begins in late August. SLF may continually invade your vineyard from the surrounding landscape and will be most problematic at the vineyard edge, especially vines close to trees or a woodlot. Please note that we do not currently have thresholds for SLF numbers on vines, but we are actively researching this question. Researchers from Korea, another region invaded by SLF, suggested a threshold of 5-10 SLF per vine throughout your vineyard. We have not confirmed these numbers on vines in the U.S. (or by age, variety, vine size, etc.), but this threshold (5-10/vine) might be a good place to start. Because spatial distribution is not equal, you may exceed these numbers at your vineyard edge (>400 per vine) but be much lower in your vineyard interior (0-10 per vine). If possible, spray select “problem areas” only. SLF invade close to and during harvest, making the insecticide options limited to those with short pre-harvest intervals (PHIs). The most commonly used short PHI compounds include: carbaryl, malathion, zeta-cypermethrin, and dinotefuran. For post-harvest application, bifenthrin and thiamethoxam offer the best long-residual activity. Initial field data from 2019 suggests that bifenthrin will offer greater residual activity than thiamethoxam. See a full list of insecticides for SLF here

The most current information on SLF management in vineyards is available online.  Should you have questions about SLF management in vineyards, you can contact Heather Leach (hll50@psu.edu).

Survey on SLF for Grape Industry

To better assess the SLF problem in vineyards, we need more information about its distribution and population levels. If you are in the SLF quarantine zone, please fill out this quick survey: https://forms.gle/SvSupqYLo5QTwciV9

Cause Marketing Program Strategies

By Kathy Kelley, Professor of Horticultural Marketing and Business Management, Department of Plant Science

A 2014 blog post (http://bit.ly/2H7Ohvp) described some of the foundational pieces needed to build a successful cause marketing program: 

  • Make sure that the donation process is transparent;
  • consider a cause that has a natural connection with your business;
  • accept cash donations in addition to selling a product with proceeds going directly to the cause; and
  • involve customers and employees.

Today’s post elaborates on each of these components and additional factors you should consider when developing your program.  

The continued growth in cause marketing 

There are no shortages of businesses that collect donations on behalf of a cause, sell a product with proceeds benefitting a charity, or some hybrid.  If that is the case, and we are experiencing “cause fatigue” (http://bit.ly/38fUdhN), does it make sense for a winey to develop or revise a program?  The answer is: “Yes.”  

 Many articles about cause marketing emphasize the need for businesses and brands to include a cause marketing effort into their business plan.  What was estimated to be a $120 million industry in 1990 grew to over $2 billion in 2017, a 1,567% growth over this 17-year period (http://bit.ly/39rkxpw).  

According to the Cone 2017 CSR Study (http://bit.ly/31S4kHn), “86% of Americans expect companies to do more than make a profit.” Businesses are expected to focus on addressing social and environmental issues, with 81% of consumers indicating that a deciding factor in their brand during decision is that they “must be able to trust the brand to do what is right” (http://bit.ly/2SgoJTc).

Cause marketing interest by U.S. generation

Before we describe the consumer and interest and participation in cause marketing programs, here is a brief primer on U.S. generations, their ages in 2020, and the percentage of U.S. population in each.  We base many decisions on our psychographics (attitudes and beliefs) and our behaviors (what we do in a situation); however, there seem to be some differences based on age range and/or defined generation.  

While there are slight differences in the years that mark the beginning/ending for each generation, according to the PEW Research Center (https://pewrsr.ch/2HbKwoG), the age ranges that define them (adjusted for 2020) are as follows:  

  • Generation Z – under age 23 (various reports state different years as to when the generation ends) 
  • Millennials – age 24 to 39 
  • Generation X – ages 40 to 55 
  • Boomers – ages 56 to 74 
  • Silent/Greatest generations – age 75 and older 

Pertaining to the percentage of consumers in each generation.  Data published in the first quarter of 2017 (http://bit.ly/2SeZ1hN) provided the percentage of consumers in each generation: 

  • Generation Z –26%.  
  • Millennials –22% 
  • Generation X –20%
  • Boomers –23% 
  • Silent/Greatest generations – 9% 

According to the 2017 Cone Gen Z CSR Study: How to Speak Z, Gen Z consumers believe being a responsible company “is primarily about being a good employer (97%), while also making products that are good for individuals and their families (95%). This group also wants companies to help people and the environment (91%), while donating to causes in their communities (89%)” (http://bit.ly/2OHSY2Z).

Marketing decisions should not be made solely on consumer demographics, such as age or generation, rather attitudes (what they think) and behaviors (what they do) should also be used to better understand a consumer’s interest in a business’s cause marketing program.  It is, however, interesting to note that younger consumers may have a higher level of interest in learning about and participating in a cause marketing program. 

Responses published in the 5WPR 2020 Consumer Culture Report (http://bit.ly/2ScAPfU) indicate that a higher percentage of participants age 18 to 34 years:

  • feel that it is important to buy from companies that align with their values (83%) compared to consumers age 35 to 54 (73%), and 55 years of age and older (60%) and that the brand they are purchasing from has a charitable component (67% vs 52 and 30%, respectively),
  • like it “when CEOs of companies speak out on issues [they] care about” (76% vs 66 and 55%, respectively), and 
  • “will pay more for a product if [they] know some of the proceeds go to charity” (71% vs 61 and 40%, respectively).

Support a cause that is personal

When deciding on what cause(s) to support, select a cause that has some tie-in with the industry and/or that the cause is personal to the business.  

Ata Rangi, a winery in Martinborough, New Zealand, supports an environmental cause “that deeply resonated with [them] about the need for reforestation of native trees, support of a cause that aligned with [their] values” (Pete Monk, Ata Rangi business manager, personal communication).

After purchasing their Bush Block in 2001, owners discovered “a strand of ancient rata,” a native species whose existance, along with pōhutukawa, another native plant, was “threatened” (https://projectcrimson.org.nz/about-us/). First through Project Crimson Trust, and now as a supporter of Trees That Count (https://www.treesthatcount.co.nz/about-us), these efforts and sales from each bottle of Crimson Pinot Noir “a younger vines Pinot Noir” (https://atarangi.co.nz/wine/) have supported replanting native trees.

Ata Rangi, a winery in Martinborough, New Zealand, donates proceeds from Crimson, “a younger vines Pinot Noir” (https://atarangi.co.nz/wine/) to support replanting native trees.  

Additionally, Clive Paton, Ata Rangi founder, grows rata at his nursery, which has been the source for 75,000 trees that he, family, staff, friends, and volunteers have planted at the Bush Block (Pete Monk, Ata Rangi business manager, personal communication). Some trees are also availalbe for purchase.

A 2011 photo of the sign that hung in the Ata Rangi tasting room promoting the rata trees available for purchase.

Other businesses have supported causes that have personally impacted the owners and/or employees.  For example, Stew Leonard’s is an independent grocery store chain with outlets in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York.  The business evolved from a small dairy store in 1969 to the “World’s Largest Dairy Store” and recognized in The Guinness Book of World Records as having “the greatest sales per unit area of any single food store in the United States” (https://www.stewleonards.com/how-it-all-began/).  

As a result of the accidental drowning of their 21-month old son in 1989, Kim and Stew Leonard created the Stew Leonard III Water Safety Foundation. The Foundation “has raised more than $2 million dollars to go toward water safety awareness and education, including lifeguard training and providing 10,000 free or low-cost swimming lessons to children every year” (https://stewietheduck.org/new-index).  Such a devasting event certainly propelled this family to make sure that others do not have the same tragic experience.  There is undoubtedly a strong tie between the business and an issue that can be a concern to many families.  

Other examples that have been recognized as having a connection are:

Most consumers will agree that they understand the connection between these brands and the causes they support without much explanation.  

What might be some causes to consider?

When deciding what cause categories to support, it might be helpful to consider what causes or issues consumers would “like companies to address.”

According to the 2017 Gen Z SCR Study: How to Speak Z (http://bit.ly/2SmAzuR): 

  • 34% of consumers who were surveyed selected “economic development,” which would include job creation, training, and infrastructure development, as the one issue they would like companies to address.   
    • When segmented by generation, only 23% of Millennials and 16% of the Gen Z participants selected this as “the one issue” they would like addressed.
  • “Poverty and hunger” was selected by the greatest percentage of Gen Z participants (28%), followed by “environment” (20%), and “human rights.”  

Another survey, conducted by Toluna and published in the March 13, 2017 issue of AdWeekly (http://bit.ly/2uulVZD), did not restrict participants to selected just one issue/cause.  Of the causes presented, the top three consumers felt a brand should support were: hunger, homelessness or medical relief (56%), education (54%), environmental sustainability and wildlife protection (45%). 

Encourage and remind consumers to share on social media

Additional data published in the 2017 Gen Z SCR Study: How to Speak Z (http://bit.ly/2SmAzuR) described the percentage of participants who responded that it was “very important/somewhat important” to perform an online action to support social or environmental issues.

Some statements and responses included in the report:

  • 77% of all survey participants felt it was “very important/somewhat important” to “share my positive opinion about a company that is doing good.”
    • When segmented by generation, 87% of Gen Z and 83% of Millennials felt it was “very important/somewhat important”
  • 77% of all survey participants felt it was “very important/somewhat important” to “vote to pick which charity should receive a donation.” 
    • When segmented by generation, 86% of Gen Z and 82% of Millennials felt it was “very important/somewhat important”
  • 65% of all survey participants felt it was “very important/somewhat important” to “‘like’ or follow a charity or company’s social or environmental program.” 
    • When segmented by generation, 79% of Gen Z and 77% of Millennials felt it was “very important/somewhat important”
  • 53% of all survey participants felt it was “very important/somewhat important” to “‘take an online action to trigger a donation.”
    • When segmented by generation, 68% of Gen Z and 71% of Millennials felt it was “very important/somewhat important”

When developing a campaign, also develop appropriate hashtags for Instagram and Twitter, and create photos and videos to share on all social media sites.  Also, consider creating an Instagram photo frame, similar to what a selfie would look like if posted on Instagram, with a cutout that “frames” those who visit your tasting room.  A great photo op – and an easily sharable way to promote your cause, the name and location of your business, and any relevant information and hashtags you use. 

An example of an Instagram “photo” or “selfie” frame created for an event. These frames can include the name of the business, information about the event, hashtags, etc.
Two students in a selfie frame at Ag Day” by Christie Clancy on flickr.com Licensed under CC By 2.0

What should be avoided, or considered, when developing a cause-marketing campaign?  

Transparency 

1. Where the money went

As discussed in the 2014 blog post, providing evidence as to how much money was collected, when it was distributed, and alerting customers who purchase a cause-related product, make a donation, etc., about these and other outcomes is critical.  Anything less could be mistaken as “goodwashing”: misleading consumers about and/or embellishing cause marketing efforts and results (http://bit.ly/38nGnKg).

An example of a charity recognized as being highly transparent is Charity Water. Though they are not a winey collecting/accumulating money on behalf of a charity, they do have a protocol that a retailer could follow.  Charity Water’s goal is to bring “clean, safe drinking water to people in developing countries.  100% of all public donations directly fund water projects” (http://bit.ly/31LEnJf) with private donors covering their operation costs.  

To date, they have funded over 51,000 water projects, with over 11 million people gaining access to clean water in 28 countries.   In addition to these statistics, those who visit their website can learn more details about each completed project.  A map shows locations for projects in each of the 28 countries.   More information is available, including the exact GPS location of the project, the number of beneficiaries, a description of the project, any partners involved, and the date the information was published on their website.   

Image usage approved by charity: water. Screenshot taken directly from https://www.charitywater.org/our-projects/completed-projects/

For example, in March 2018, it was reported that 175 people living in Nathasar, India, now had access to “tankas,” which are tanks used to harvest household rainwater.  Before the completion of this project, the families had to travel distances to obtain water and/or pay high prices for water trucked into their community.  

Image usage approved by charity: water. Screenshot taken directly from https://www.charitywater.org/our-projects/completed-projects/

In addition to promoting the outcomes of a cause marketing effort, there are criteria for crafting the message so that they are clear and not misleading (http://bit.ly/2OIChEz).

2. Avoiding vague language  

How can you persuade consumers to purchase an item tied to a dollar amount that will be donated to a cause?  

Instead of deciding that a “percentage” of proceeds or profits will be donated to the cause, structure the program so that a percentage of the retail purchase price will be donated.  

This will give customers a much clearer idea as to how much will actually be donated.  If they have to make a calculation or take a wild guess as to what the final amount donated – they may underestimate or greatly overestimate how much was actually generated and donated.  This could then impact their decision to donate to any future campaigns you might host.

3. Flat donations 

According to Engage for Good (http://bit.ly/2OIChEz): “The company agrees to give a fixed amount to the charity. The amount does not depend on the number of sales. Yet the advertising tells consumers that each purchase results in a donation.”

While generating less than the goal is a considerable risk, so is the possibility of exceeding the goal but only donating the predetermined donation amount.  For consumers, they may not be persuaded to make a purchase or purchase less because, like the example above, they are unsure how much their purchase will generate – which might convince them to make a purchase elsewhere.

4. Capping donations

In this instance, the business implementing the cause marketing program donates to the cause for each action a consumer completes.  This could be a 50-cent donation, up to a specified amount (e.g., $2,000), for each new Facebook “like” or Instagram “follow,” or $1.00 from each purchase will is donated to the cause.  There is nothing inherently wrong with this approach, as consumers will understand how much is generated based on them doing “x” and that a total of up to “y” will be donated.  It is critical that the deadline for these actions is clear so as not to mislead those who “like” a Facebook Page or purchase a product after the cap is reached – and believe that they have helped reach the goal.    

Make it easy to donate  

1. Ask at check-out 

Whether you ask in the tasting room or add an option to your online shopping cart, consider asking customers for donations at the time they make a purchase.

A receipt form a national pharmacy chain store showing a consumer’s purchase and a $1.00 donation to the American Heart Association

From the 2019 YouGov Survey:

“Most (75%) Americans say that they typically donate some amount of money to charity every year. About one-third (32%) say they’ve donated during an in-store checkout at a grocery store or drug store”  (http://bit.ly/2OL8ew8).

From the Catalist’s 2018 Report: POS Giving: Progressing and Prospering:

  • “69% of consumers have given at point of sale in the last 12 months. Of those, 81% say they like or don’t mind being asked to give at the register.
  • Consumers prefer rounding up almost 2 to 1 over purchasing an icon for an additional dollar amount” (http://bit.ly/3bw13Sh).

2. Website donation buttons

Another option is it add a payment company donation button, like PayPal (paypal.com) or Stripe (stripe.com), to your website.  

According to research conducted by Northstar Research in October 2018, involving U.S. and Canadian consumers, and published on PayPal’s website (http://bit.ly/2HndOkq): 

  • “40% of donors would not have given to a nonprofit if PayPal wasn’t an option.
  • 75% of donors would give again if PayPal was a payment option.
  • 38% of donors prefer PayPal as their recurring payment method.
  • 79% of donors feel confident using PayPal to send payments on unfamiliar websites.”

The costs for a for-profit business to collect donations for a cause are 2.9% per transaction plus $0.30.  Thus, PayPal will charge the business:

  • $0.59 when they process a $10.00 donation, 
  • $1.75 for a $50.00 donation, 
  • $3.20 for a $100.00 donation, etc. 

Getting employees and customers involved

“Supporting charitable efforts can increase employee retention, build skills, and even improve physical and mental health” (www.thejargroup.com).  That quote alone might encourage companies to develop a cause marketing program, but here are some benefits employees involved in volunteer activities believed they:

  • 87% “develop professional skills,”
  • 86% “learn better time management,”
  • 92% “develop their people skills/teamwork,” and
  • 77% “strengthen relationship” (http://bit.ly/2SzVoSA).

What else might a company do to engage employees?

  • Companies such as Google match employee “donations to nonprofit organization” and money they “raise for charitable events that they actively participate in.” The company “matches between $50 and $12,000 in donations per employee each year” (http://bit.ly/31PEdAG).
  • Disney is one example of a company that provides grants to the “eligible nonprofit of [the employee’s] choice” based on the number of volunteer hours.  If the employee volunteers between 10 and 24 hours, a $100 grant is awarded to the cause, 75 or more volunteer hours will generate a $1,000 grant (http://bit.ly/31PEdAG).
  • Employees can be “brand ambassadors” and help inform the community and customers about the company sponsored cause by posting content on social media or having more of deciding role in the cause that is selected and/or how the business will support the cause.  (http://bit.ly/39y1TfF).

These strategies can also involve customers and asking them to select the cause, or causes, that will benefit from fund raising or donation campaigns.  Or matching customer donations (http://bit.ly/2OPR4xw).

Have a campaign deadline and offer incentives

Many times, consumers intend to donate to a cause, but if there is no time-sensitive call to action, they may get distracted by another cause or forget to donate all together.  A sense of urgency can encourage people to donate or make a purchase – sooner rather than later, or not at all.  

According to Indiegogo, which provides a platform for both for-profit and nonprofit campaigns, a campaign should be no more than 40 days, as longer durations could make it challenging to maintain interest and engagement (http://bit.ly/37iL8mZ).

Additionally, offering “perks” or incentives to donate could have a significant impact on giving.  Indiegogo reports that “campaigns offering perks rise 143% more money than those that do not” (http://bit.ly/2UOyLwq). 

A suggested strategy is to “offer at least three perks (especially in the $25 and $100 levels)” (https://wapo.st/2Hj1xgU) with perk examples including photos and updates of communities or families that have benefited from the campaign ($25 donation perk) to t-shirts, bags, and similar items ($100 to $150 level).  

How businesses and brands have benefited from cause marketing

One program that may resonate with many readers is the Yoplait “Save Lids to Save Lives” campaign that ran from 1998 to 2016 (https://bit.ly/38eGibW).  The program required consumers to purchase Yoplait yogurt and send lids to General Mills, which would then donate 10 cents for each lid (and later, code submitted online) received to the Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure.  During the 18 years that the program operated, over $50 million was donated to this cause based on the number of lids and codes submitted.   

With General Mills donating such an amount, and with the campaign running for nearly two decades, might the company have “profited” from the cause marketing (CM) effort?  To answer the question, researchers analyzed 1.5 million yogurt purchase incidences made across 7,257 households from January 2001 to December 2011.  While the researchers acknowledged that they were unable to obtain the costs for implementing the campaign, “profits during the CM campaign increase[d] by 2.70% (measured by dividing the CM coefficient of the Yoplait model by Yoplait’s mean customer profitability)” (Ballings et al., 2018; https://doi.org/10.1007/s11747-017-0571-4).  Additionally, the researchers also found that Yoplait’s CM initiative negatively influenced Dannon’s (a major competitor) “customer profitability, where profits during the CM campaign decrease[d] by 13.31%.” 

Another potential outcome of a successful brand’s cause marketing program is improving a company’s “public image.”  An extreme example is a change in perception about Wal-Mart that occurred in the early 2000s.   At the beginning of the decade, the company was dealing with “controversies over its labor practices environmental impact, class-action lawsuits, and other business behaviors and scandals” (http://bit.ly/2OKLcWg) to one that was heralded by The Washington Post “as a model for logistical efficiency and nimble disaster planning” (https://wapo.st/39rZ5R7).  After Hurrican Katrina impacted the Golf Coast, Wal-Mart responded by providing a “$15 million donation and an announcement that employees forced to flee their homes because of the hurricane would be hired at their new locations.”  The company was able to “deliver relief supplies to victims where the government could not” (http://bit.ly/2OKLcWg).  Hence, Wal-Mart received “the kind of advertising no marketer can buy” (http://bit.ly/38jBodt).  

But, unless the effort is truly integrated into a business’s practices and company culture, consumers will likely sense that it is inauthentic and quite possibly ignore it or criticize it on social media.  

Last, but not least, be there are legal considerations to working with a charity and promoting a cause

While the intent to support a cause is merely to do some good in the world, there are some legal considerations to be aware of according to the National Law Review:

“If a person or for-profit company joins forces with a charitable organization to benefit the charitable organization, usually via donations, the parties have entered into a commercial co-venture arrangement… All 50 states have [CCV] laws… some more complex than others” (http://bit.ly/2SpaTy0).  

Some items to consider regarding Commercial Co-Venture laws:

  • For-profit company/charity develop and sign a contract as to the goods/services offered, how donations will be generated and provided to the charity, duration of the campaign, if the charity’s logo and name will be used in the campaign, etc. 
  • Avoid vague language and “review advertising carefully for transparent disclosure of the per-unit donation amount.” (http://bit.ly/2SFP2kx)
  • Some states require that the program be registered and bonded.  
  • Check that the charity is “registered for general fundraising purposes” in states where the campaign will be held.
  • Charities that “actively promote the sale of a commercial sponsor’s good or services – even if such sales help generate donations” could lose their tax-exempt status and be subject to unrelated business income tax (UBIT). (http://bit.ly/2SFP2kx)
  • Avoid “self-dealing,” which “occurs when a private foundations’ assets are improperly used to benefit “disqualified persons,” who include substantial contributors and their officers and directors, as well as officers and directors of the foundation.” (http://bit.ly/2SFP2kx)
  • Follow the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance standards. 

More about these and other legal issues are explained in sources such as: 

Reference

Ballings, M., McCullough, H., & Bharadwaj, N. (2018). Cause marketing and customer profitability. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 46(2), 234-251. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11747-017-0571-4

Considerations for Vineyards with Spotted Lanternfly

By Lauren Briggs, Research Technologist, Department of Plant Science, Michela Centinari, Assistant Professor of Viticulture, Department of Plant Science, and Heather Leach, Extension Associate, Department of Entomology

If your vineyard is in or near the spotted lanternfly quarantine zone, scouting for egg masses can provide information that will be useful for making management decisions in the next few months. Take note of patterns in the distribution of egg masses through the vineyard, checking favored spots including fenceposts, the undersides of cordons, the base of the trunks, and vines near the wooded edge. Examine host trees in the tree line including tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus), maples, and black walnut, that may be harboring eggs. Management options for egg masses are outlined below, summarized from the Penn State Extension publication Spotted Lanternfly Management in Vineyards.[i]

For a small number of egg masses or a small vineyard, egg masses can be scraped from the vine, then placed in alcohol or thoroughly crushed to kill the eggs. If eggs are found on metal posts, they can be burned using a propane torch. In larger vineyards, however, spraying may be a more feasible option, as recent studies report ovicidal action of a few chemicals. Studies carried out in 2018 and 2019 found that Lorsban Advanced (chlorpyrifos, 1qt/acre), when applied before budbreak, had excellent efficacy (100% spotted lanterfly egg mortality), though it is not currently labeled for spotted lanternfly. Chlorpyrifos can only be applied once per season as a pre-bloom for other pests including brown marmorated stinkbug, mealybug, scale, and cutworm, and application must occur before bud break to avoid phytotoxic effects. JMS Stylet-Oil (paraffinic oil, 3% rate) also had efficacy against SLF egg masses but was much lower than chlorpyrifos – 51-71% egg mortality, while the control mortality in these studies was 35%.

It may be preferable to wait until nymphs emerge in the spring to apply a chemical treatment. Several insecticides are effective against nymphs and labeled for spotted lanternfly (see the table from Penn State Extension’s publication below), and it is likely that standard early season applications of insecticides for other vineyard pests (e.g. Japanese beetle) will also kill any SLF nymphs present.  If nymph populations are concentrated on a few vines, spot treatment may be an option as well, with high knockdown insecticides being preferred over those with extended residual activity.

To increase the size of Table 2, either right click on the image and open a new browser tab, or access the table in this document: https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly-management-in-vineyards

Ultimately, early season spotted lanternfly treatments may reduce spring nymph populations but may not affect infestation by adults later in the season, as adult populations are quite mobile. Management decisions will depend on available time and labor, and the severity of the infestation.

Assessing Bud Mortality prior to Pruning

Assessing bud mortality before pruning is an important practice that should be done when low temperatures reach values that can damage the vines. We encourage owners and managers of vineyards infested with spotted lanternfly to assess bud mortality regardless if their site experienced low temperatures that could damage their varieties. Our preliminary results indicated that spotted lanternfly-phloem feeding might reduce bud freeze tolerance, thus its ability to survive cold temperatures.  

How to sample canes to determine bud mortality:

  • Collect and evaluate canes for each variety separately, being certain to compare bud mortality for each variety based on the block from which the canes were harvested (i.e., block one, located at the top of the hill, and block two, located at the bottom of the hill). 
  • If the vines are caned-pruned, the canes close to the head should be prioritized. Regardless of the pruning system, canes can be trimmed to 10-12 buds, and bud evaluation should be conducted on the first 10 buds. 
  • The minimum number of buds recommended for each variety in a block is 100 (at least 10 samples).
  • The canes should be taken indoors and left at room temperature for 24-48 hours before bud evaluation. This will ensure that the buds have thawed, and damaged tissue will have enough time to turn brown. 

Bud examination:

You can use a sharp razor blade to section the buds. For proper evaluation, the cuts must be made at the correct depth. For example, if the bud is cut too deep you could mistake an injured bud for a healthy one. By cutting too deeply you might reach the bud cushion, which would be green, and miss the more shallow brown/injured tissue. The picture below shows a cross-sectioned bud which sustained cold injury (figure 2). The large primary bud in the center is dead (brown) while the secondary and tertiary buds are healthy (green tissue).

Figure 2. Bud cross section showing damaged primary bud with secondary and tertiary alive.

For more information on how to collect canes, properly cut buds, and evaluate damage, please refer to: Evaluating Bud Injury Prior to Pruning – Part 1 and Evaluating Bud Injury Prior to Pruning – Part 2, two videos from Cornell University Cooperative Extension. 

Record bud mortality data by variety and block. At the end of the evaluation, divide the number of primary dead buds by the total number of buds sampled to calculate the percentage of injury. If the level of primary bud injury is above 15%, modify your pruning strategies to leave a greater number of buds proportional to the level of damage. In the table below, we reported bud mortality thresholds and recommended adjustments to pruning strategies as suggested by Zabadal et al. (2007) “Winter injury to grapevines and methods of protection.”2

Level of bud injury about 50% would require retraining new trunks and renewing larger parts of the vine, but these topics will not be addressed within this post.

We invite grape growers that have assessed or will assess bud mortality to share their results with us by emailing Michela Centinari (mzc22@psu.edu), Heather Leach (hll50@psu.edu) or Lauren Briggs (leb48@psu.edu).

[i] Leach, H, Biddinger, D, Krawczyk, G, and Centinari, M. Spotted Lanternfly Management in Vineyards. 2019. Penn State Extension. (Link)

Zabadal, TJ, Dami IE, Goffinet, MC, Martinson, TE, and Chien, ML. 2007. Winter injury to grapevines and methods of protection. Extension Bulletin E, 2030, p.106.