As the second half of summer arrives, so do the berries. The berry crop seems to be pretty good this year, but there is a new threat that could threaten all fruit farmers in northern Wisconsin.
"The spotted wing drosophila fruit fly is a new exotic insect pest problem" says Eric Carlson, the Owner of Blue Vista Farm.
The fruit fly first showed up in northern Wisconsin in 2012 and has fruit farmers scrabbling to find ways to manage the pest.
But at Blue Vista farm, organically managing the pest is a top priority.
Carlson says, "I don't feel really good about spraying something during harvest that's that toxic. We've never had to do that in any of the berry crops through harvest."
Blue Vista farm is working with an organic chemist. They're trying a couple of new compounds that are made from everyday food products and spices.
"And the idea is that he's cloaking the planting, or hiding it from the fruit flies." Carlson said.
A similar practice is being used in the Ports to confuse the gypsy moths. But the fight between farmer and pest doesn't have to be a bloody battle. The owners of Blue Vista Farm hope organic repellants will bring peace and healthy fruit to their land.
Ellen Kwiapkowski, Owner of Blue Vista Farm told me, "We feel like our environment shouldn't be a battle ground, we want to produce food that is healthy and right now we are using an organic pesticides that do actually kill the insect pest that we're targeting, but we'd rather be repelling."
You can head to the Blue Vista farm to pick your own raspberries or blueberries. They also sell other locally made products in their shop.
Meteorologist Adam Lorch
Click Here for more information about Blue Vista Farm