UGA Blueberry Blog

Ash Sial

About Ash Sial

Dr. Ash Sial is an Assistant Professor in Department of Entomology at the University of Georgia. He has had extensive training in agricultural entomology from various institutions. He earned his Ph.D. in Entomology from Washington State University where he worked with apple growers to develop sustainable IPM programs for major pests of tree fruits. After graduation, he accepted a Post-Doctoral Research Scientist position at University of California, Berkeley and worked with winegrape growers to develop sustainable IPM programs aimed at managing exotic and emerging arthropod pests such as vine mealybug, and the diseases transmitted by mealybugs such as grapevine leafroll disease. He then joined Cornell University to investigate various aspects of biology and ecology of an invasive insect pest – spotted wing drosophila, which has recently emerged as a major threat to fruit production in the United States. Currently, he serves as the blueberry entomologist and IPM Coordinator for Georgia. At the University of Georgia, the goals of his research program are to investigate biology and ecology of major arthropod pests of blueberries in order to develop sustainable IPM programs, and disseminate that information to all stakeholders including commercial blueberry producers in a timely and convenient manner. He has published numerous peer-reviewed papers, delivered research and Extension presentations including invited guest lectures and a keynote address. He has also served professional societies including Entomological Society of America (ESA) in a leadership role at the regional and national levels. He has been recognized for excellence in research productivity and professional leadership at the regional and national level with several prestigious awards including the John Henry Comstock Award.

Spotted wing drosophila identification, monitoring, and management in Georgia blueberries

Ash Sial Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, Athens GA, 30602. The spotted wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) (Diptera: Drosophilidae) is an invasive and economically important pest of many soft-skinned fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, and other. Since its first detection in California in 2008, SWD…
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Blueberry Management Suggestions After 2017 Severe Freeze Damage

By: D. Scott NeSmith, Department of Horticulture, University of Georgia Severe freeze events such as occurred in Georgia March 15-16, 2017 present multiple challenges to growers. The magnitude of the damage varies across locations, but overall in the state the damage is substantial. This is in fact the most severe crop…
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Public Comment on Pyrethroid Insecticides Requested

Dear Blueberry Growers: ALL pyrethroid insecticides (bifenthrin, Warrior/Karate, Mustang Max, Baythroid, Asana, Permethrin, etc.) are currently undergoing registration review at EPA. Nine are specifically being evaluated, but serve as surrogates for all 19 active ingredients. The preliminary evaluation shows that all pyrethroids exceed “Levels of Concern” for exposure to aquatic…
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Webinar on Sustainable Management of Spotted Wing Drosophila

Members of the Sustainable SWD Project will present a webinar online on January 25th at 12-1pm eastern time, highlighting information about control of the invasive insect pest, spotted wing Drosophila. The webinar titled “Making the Most of Your Insecticide Toolbox to Manage SWD” will cover research conducted during the first…
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Monitoring and Management of Blueberry Gall Midge

Ash Sial1 and James Jacobs2, 1Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, 2UGA Extension, Pierce County   The reports of blueberry gall midge infestations in Georgia blueberries have become more common over the last couple of years. Although blueberry gall midge has historically been referred to as a rabbiteye problem, recently…
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