University of Pisa to the rescue of Napa Valley vineyards

Foto-5-portaleAndrea Lucchi (photo), researcher in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Agro-environmental Sciences at the University of Pisa, has made a fundamental contribution in defending the vineyards in Napa Valley and nine other California counties against the dreaded epidemic of the European grapevine moth, Lobesia botrana. He was invited by Vic Mastro, Director of the USDA-APHIS, the federal agency charged with protecting agriculture and natural resources within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Andrea Lucchi was the only European to participate in the five meetings that have been held in the USA up to today.
In September 2009, in a vineyard in Napa Valley, the European grapevine moth was detected, a moth common in the Mediterranean area whose larvae attack the grapes causing them to rot and creating major economic damage. Already in November of that same year, the USDA-APHIS set up an international technical group and invited Andrea Lucchi to take part. The technical group’s program for stopping the spread of the moth has been extremely successful.
We still don’t know if the grapevine moth has been completely eradicated in Napa Valley and therefore in the USA, however the results achieved are quite hopeful, since in 2013 there were only 30 moths caught throughout the state of California in the 50,000 pheromone traps that were in place during the entire season”, explains Andrea Lucchi who, over these years, has been coordinating in Italy with Claudio Ioriatti of the Edmund Mach Foundation (San Michele all’Adige, Trentino) and Bruno Bagnoli of the Agricultural Research and Test Council (CRA) of Florence -Italy.

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