From Berry Bulletin 2015-03
Crop update: Berry crops are advancing quickly, with not a lot of difference from one end of the province to the other.
June-bearing strawberries are showing buds in the crown and starting to bloom where covers were applied. Day-neutrals look rough after the winter, but are blooming and with some green fruit.
Conditions have become extremely dry and most berry crops will benefit from irrigation. If you are planting in this dry weather be sure to follow with irrigation, transplanter water is not enough.
Strawberries: Temperatures under row covers are getting very warm and the heavier covers over strawberries on plastic should be removed. High temperatures can affect pollen viability for the current crop and increase the gap before the next crops. In June-bearing strawberries remove covers at early bloom, depending on the weather forecast. Remember that tender foliage under row covers is susceptible to burning from pesticides and weather.
Strawberry aphid eggs can be found on older leaves and aphids are hatching, especially where growth is advanced due to row covers. Populations are variable from field to field so make sure you are scouting for this pest. Wait for all aphid eggs to hatch, but remember the deadline for your first aphicide is before first bloom. If you choose to apply Admire as a soil drench, you give up the option for a group 4 insecticide later in the season. For this reason, foliar applications are preferred in fruiting fields. Choices include Lagon, Admire (both are very toxic to bees) and Assail (also toxic). Beleaf is now fully registered and is ideal for timings during bloom and closer to harvest.
Figure 1: Strawberry aphid egg on lower leaf surface, older leaves, with ruler scale in mm.
Photo credit Shelby Jones, OMAFRA
Figure 2: Strawberry aphid nymph, on lower leaf surface, new leaves, about 2 mm
Photo Credit D. Moreau, AAFC.
In new plantings, a high-volume soil application of Admire will give approx. 30 days of aphid control. This spray can be delayed until there are several new leaves, and blossoms have been removed.
Strawberry clipper weevil will be very active as buds emerge. Again scouting is important for this pest, because not all fields are affected. Older plantings are at highest risk. Border sprays for clipper weevil should be enough for 1st year fruiting fields. Pyrethroid (Group 3) insecticides such as Matador, Silencer, Up-Cyde, Mako, or Ripcord, are hard on beneficial mites and have been associated with cyclamen mite problems, so it is best to minimize use of these products.
Start your fungicide program in strawberries with a group M fungicide before bloom. This is especially important where anthracnose fruit rot is a problem and broad-spectrum fungicides are needed to help reduce or delay development of resistance.
Apogee plant growth regulator is newly registered on strawberries- try this product on a small scale first until you get used to its effects on different varieties. Apogee will reduce runners, but can also shorten flower stalks. Do not apply when buds or bloom are present. Timings for Apogee include late summer in first year June-bearing varieties. In newly planted day neutrals, there may be a window of opportunity when 4-6 leaves have developed and first blossom are picked off.
The Apogee label is on line at: http://pr-rp.hc-sc.gc.ca/1_1/view_label?p_ukid=55849278.