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Berry Bulletin August 3, 2018

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Berry Bulletin August 3

August 3, 2018

After this past week moisture is variable across the province. Some areas received heavy rainfall last week while others are still quite dry.

Strawberries: Renovation continues across the province, including mowing, weed control, fertilizer, and narrowing rows. Kristen Obeid, OMAFRA’s weed management specialist, with input from berry consultants, has posted an article on sinbar application in strawberries. Check out the article on our blog here(while you’re there, subscribe to the blog to get regular updates, including weekly SWD updates).

Insects: Maintain aphid control in new and renovated fields-  there is very little tolerance for aphids in new fields. Scout for potato leafhoppers in new fields as well. Cyclamen mites: Check for cyclamen mites after renovation if they were a challenge this year.  Beneficial mites or Vegol Crop oil could help with cyclamen mite management in late August in more management is needed.

Day neutral strawberry harvest is in progress. Scout and, if needed, manage for tarnished plant bugs, potato leafhoppers, TSSM, and spotted wing drosophila (SWD). Use products that have activity on both SWD and tarnished plant bug, such as Malathion.

Disease: Warm, wet weather will spread anthracnose, and botrytis has been found in day neutral fields. Captan, Maestro and Switch for botrytis control will also control anthracnose. Pristine and Cabrio should be tank mixed with a compatible fungicide rather than used alone for anthracnose control.

If you are applying fungicides for powdery mildew make sure to alternate products from different families. There are a number of products available for powdery mildew control. Check page 195, Publication 360, Fruit Crop Protection Guide.

Blueberries: Blueberry harvest continues. Growers been happy with the season so far. Maintain coverage against SWD from this point on. Apply an insecticide every 5-7 days. Note that the pre-harvest interval (PHI) for Success on blueberries is 1 day. Entrust also has a 1 day PHI, and Malathion has a 2 day PHI. Plan to save a couple insecticide applications to use after a rain.

Exirel and Malathion when applied for SWD will also control Japanese beetle adults.

Raspberries:  Summer fruiting raspberry harvest is winding down.  Fall-bearing raspberries are blooming in southern Ontario, and harvest will start in a week or two in early areas. SWD is present and control needs to be maintained for the rest of the raspberry season. Plan your insecticide schedule now for fall raspberries. Plan to save a couple insecticide options for re-application after it rains.

Japanese beetles are active. Exirel and Malathion when applied for SWD will also control Japanese beetle adults

Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD):.

  • SWD numbers continue to increase.
  • SWD are not as active in temperatures over 30C which may have worked in our favour in July.
  • However, SWD prefer the 20-25C temperatures and humid, rainy conditions we’ve been having, and I expect numbers to build quickly in these conditions.
  • Growers should be maintaining spray coverage and picking as often as possible.
  • If you have ripe or ripening berries they are at risk and growers should manage for SWD.
  • For all berry crops pick fruit early, clean and often. Cool fruit as quickly as possible after harvest.
  • Do not leave overripe or hail-damaged berries in the field; SWD populations can build up in this leftover fruit.
  • Spray every 5-7 days, and re-apply after a rain- ½ an inch of rain is enough to require a reapplication
  • Don’t spray in temperatures above 27C.
  • SWD is more active in the evening and early mornings. Spray from 6-10 am or 6-10 pm if possible.
  • Always rotate insecticide groups to reduce the risk of developing insecticide resistance.
  • Research has shown that Assail has some activity on SWD eggs and larvae, but not adults. Assail can be used now to control leafhoppers and tarnished plant buds in day-neutrals, or aphids in raspberries and blueberries.
  • While we are conducting a small, regional monitoring program, the best way to determine pressure on your farm and evaluate your management program is conducting on-farm monitoring. A salt water test is an effective and easy test. Check out this video for instructions.


Stay up to date with SWD catches by following the ONfruit blog for weekly updates posted at the end of the week:

This link will take you to an infosheet with the 2018 SWD registrations: , or check out, including two emergency use registrations (Mako & Malathion 85 E).

Events: Mark your calendars for the Berry Growers of Ontario’s annual Summer Tour on September 18 at Willowtree Farms in Port Perry.

Twitter: Follow me on twitter @PateErica and our ONfruit blog for regular updates and berry information.

If you would like to subscribe to The Ontario Berry Grower newsletter send me an e-mail at

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