Biocontrol By Drones For Vineyards

The most efficient way to release natural enemies in your vineyards

Customers Using UAV-IQ’s BioDrop Service

“The BioDrop team is wonderful to work with, very professional and communication is great. They’ve helped us build a customized biocontrol plan to target vine mealybug in our vineyards. Their innovative drone technology not only helps us solve our labor shortage challenge, but it also minimizes soil compaction that an extra pass with tractors would cause on our vineyards.”

 

Caine Thompson

Managing Director of Robert Hall Winery and Sustainability Lead for O’Neill Vintners & Distillers

Why Use Biocontrol in Vineyards?

Pesticides are reaching their limitations, with challenges arising both from regulatory requirements and effectiveness. In addition to this, concerns are growing about their negative impact on the environment and the health of field workers and consumers. In response to these challenges, augmentative biocontrol has emerged as a cost-effective approach for keeping vineyards free from pests, all while aligning with the latest market trends. Augmentative biocontrol can be implemented to control some of the most common vineyard pests while building a more resilient growing system.

 

Natural Enemies of Mealybugs

Vine mealybug (Planococcus ficus),  Grape mealybug (Pseudococcus maritimus), Citrus mealybug (Planococcus citri)

Cryptolaemus montrouzieri
(Mealybug destroyer)

Anagyrus vladimiri

Natural Enemies of Spider Mites

Two-spotted spider mites and other mites species present in vineyards

Neoseiulus californicus

Neoseiulus californicus

Phytoseiulus persimilis

other commercially available predators include: Galendromus occidentalis (Western predatory mite), Amblyseius andersoni

Natural Enemies of Leafhoppers

 

Green lacewing adult

Green lacewing

Advantages Of Releasing Beneficials From A Drone For Grape Growers

Easy access to the vineyard

Drones effectively release beneficial insects even in difficult to access vineyards located on steep hillsides or in muddy terrain.

Better establishment than manual release

Releasing predators and parasitoids by hand at a uniform rate is often time challenging for field workers covering large areas. The drone can easily do uniform applications from the air in a fraction of the time, avoiding peak temperatures of the day that could be detrimental to beneficials.

Better use of your vineyard crew

When a field crew needs to cover several ranches or is busy performing other critical tasks in the vineyard, it can take a few days to apply beneficials manually. With the drone, a single pilot covers one acre per minute instead of one acre per hour for a manual release.

Our Articles Related to Biocontrol in Vineyards

Discover some of our articles about biological control in vineyards

O’Neill Vintners & Distillers’ Journey From Sustainable To Regenerative Viticulture At Robert Hall Winery

O’Neill Vintners & Distillers’ Journey From Sustainable To Regenerative Viticulture At Robert Hall Winery

A discussion with Caine Thompson, managing director of Robert Hall Winery on the goals of their regenerative viticulture study started in 2020.

Mobilize a Well-Trained Vineyard Crew for Pest Scouting and IPM

Mobilize a Well-Trained Vineyard Crew for Pest Scouting and IPM

A discussion with Kent Daane of the the University of California, Berkeley about the need to manage insecticides as part of an IPM program, the biological control agents being used in vineyards, and the use of cover crops for promoting vine health.

How A California Viticulturist Uses Biological Control And Cultural Practices To combat Pests

How A California Viticulturist Uses Biological Control And Cultural Practices To combat Pests

A discussion with David Gates of Ridge Vineyards on how pest pressure varies according to the location and variety of the vine, beneficial insects he has used in his vineyards, and some of the cultural practices he implemented to limit pest pressure.

Why a Leading Central Coast Vineyard Is Transitioning to Organic Production

Why a Leading Central Coast Vineyard Is Transitioning to Organic Production

A discussion with Greg Gonzalez of Scheid Vineyards on the importance of the vineyard crew’s role in an IPM program, and on misconceptions about the cost of transitioning to organic.

From Industrial Pesticides to Integrated Pest Management: A New Trend in Vineyard Practices

From Industrial Pesticides to Integrated Pest Management: A New Trend in Vineyard Practices

A discussion with Kent Daane of the the University of California, Berkeley about the need to manage insecticides as part of an IPM program, the biological control agents being used in vineyards, and the use of cover crops for promoting vine health.