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VMB-XL Field Release Rate Studies Demonstrate Effectiveness

Suterra Mar 3, 2023 4:09:21 PM

CheckMate® VMB-XL is the longest-lasting mating disruption dispenser for control of vine mealybug in grapevines. The product uses Suterra's proprietary release technology for continuous release throughout the vineyard and has been proven in real-world conditions for over a decade.


With longer growing seasons and an increasing number of VMB generations, Suterra conducted longer trials of pheromone longevity in 2022 based on observations that the product was lasting longer in the field.


Season-Long Results


“Gravimetric analysis only measures the weight of dispensers and not the actual amount of pheromone being released. Dust, water, and other field conditions can affect the weight of the dispenser. Longevity should be determined by how the pheromone is released throughout the season.” explains Emily Symmes, Ph.D., Senior Technical Field Manager at Suterra.


That is why Suterra’s recent rigorous and long-term study of pheromone release rate used the gold standard in scientific detection of pheromones at the molecular level: Gas Chromatography with Flame Ionization Detection (GC-FID). Here are the results:



Collection Procedure: A replicated study with multiple samples measured at frequent time intervals over eight months. Directly measured pheromone content with Gas Chromatography with Flame Ionization Detection (GC-FID).


Results from this latest study align with trap and damage suppression data over many years of CheckMate® VMB-XL application in vineyards worldwide. 
“Our growers want to see the product work,” explains Aly, Grower Relations Key Account Manager at Suterra. “We have a proven track record of controlling VMB populations and improving marketable yields. That’s why growers trust Suterra.”


In fact, according to a recent interview with well-known California PCA Bart Haycraft, “Suterra has become the backbone of a program in the fight against vine mealybug”. Watch the entire interview with Bart Haycraft here.


Since 2010, CheckMate® VMB-XL has helped protect vineyards from vine mealybug. The pheromone dispensers are placed strategically in the vineyard and provide season-long pest control. Suterra introduced a sprayable formulation in 2016 that allowed growers to precisely respond to in-season conditions, giving growers effective mating disruption options. 

“There aren’t many effective options when it comes to vine mealybug control, but thankfully Suterra has two great options,” says Aly Crocker. “Growers and PCAs like the flexibility to work within their budgets to apply CheckMate® VMB-F when and where it is needed, but many of my growers continue to use CheckMate® VMB-XL dispensers for the season-long control they have come to count on over the years.”


Neighborhood Management Initiatives


“When your neighbor has a VMB problem, you have a VMB problem,” says Aly. “We all know that VMB spreads easily, so how can we protect each other?”


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UC integrated pest management (IPM) recommends using Suterra’s mating disruption as an alternative or supplement to chemical control. Their website also states, “Do not allow contaminated equipment, vines, grapes, or winery waste near uninfested vineyards. Movement of equipment that pushes brush or any over-the-row equipment can be a major source of infestations in new locations.” 

A significant development in the fight to control vine mealybug is neighborhood mating disruption initiatives that some areas have started to promote. Groups like Petaluma GAP and The Vineyard Team host VMB educational events for growers and PCAs to help drive adoption across more acres. 


Get more information about IPM practices and funding through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

To determine which product is right for your vineyard, contact us or call your local Suterra Key Account Manager, PCA, or ag chemical distributor.