GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Little brown pouches are appearing on vineyards in Switzerland at the moment, a reminder of the ongoing greening of the wine grape business. Switzerland remains a world leader in the use of pheromones instead of insecticides, an ecological solution to pests in vineyards.
The system is based on large-scale diffusion in vineyards of a substance that imitates pheromones, female hormones, which lead to sexual confusion among pests in vineyards. The method was authorized in the country nearly 30 years ago and in 2011 studies showed that the system was working well.
Fully half of vineyards, orchards and berry growers in Switzerland use the method, with the figure rising to 60 percent for vineyards. French-speaking Switzerland leads the way: 90 percent of grape growers use this green method.
This year’s new supply of pheromones is appearing in the vineyards now. Most of the pouches are the now-familiar brown plastic ones, some variations are the result of work being done at the federal research station Agroscope to develop newer products that are easier to install and biodegradable.