May 7, 2020

In this bulletin:

  • Crop & weather update
  • Publication 360
  • Publication 75B
  • Funding Opportunities
  • Strawberry & Raspberry IPM training

Berry Bulletin May 7 pdf


After a couple nice days over the weekend the cold weather continues, and strawberries are moving slowly. However, row covered fields are starting to see bloom. With the cold temperatures in the forecast frost protection may be necessary for growers with bloom. Critical temperatures for strawberries at different stages of development are listed below (Perry & Poling, 1985):

Stage of Development
Approximate Critical Temp. oC
Tight bud
Open blossom


Information on strawberry frost protection can be found in this article: Irrigation for Frost Protection of Strawberries (full URL: ), including information on irrigation and row covers. Irrigation will offer more frost protection than row covers alone. Row covers only offer 1-2C of protection. A combination of row covers and irrigation is the best option for frost control. Begin irrigating once the temperature reaches 0.6 oC under the row cover.

If you don’t have sprinklers for frost protection, irrigating (with drip tape or travelling gun) before the frost event will help if the soil is dry. Irrigate today before the soil cools; the plants should be dry tonight.

Planting has begun for day neutral and June bearing strawberries. With the cold temperatures in the forecast make sure any newly planted strawberries are packed in well with good soil contact to reduce air around the crown, and consider irrigating to increase the soil moisture to insulate the plants and protect your new field.

Two-spotted spider mite: Overwintering two-spotted spider mites (TSSM) can be found in some strawberry fields. Scan the underside of leaves and use a hand lens to find TSSM.

Aphids: Aphids are the main vector of strawberry viruses and need to be controlled through the season. Overwintering aphid eggs hatch in early May, and aphids should be controlled once the eggs have hatched. We have started to see aphids in fields under row cover. Plan to apply an insecticide in the next couple weeks for aphid control.

Cyclamen mite: Cyclamen mite damage has been found in June bearing fields as the plants begin to grow more quickly. If you are seeing damage and finding mites Agri-mek or vegol crop oil can be applied. Agri-mek needs to be applied with a non-ionic surfactant so keep 10-14 days between using Captan, Maestro or Bravo and an Agri-mek spray.

Disease: Bravo or Echo can be applied before bloom for botrytis control to reduce disease inoculum and help with disease management later in the season. If there is time 2 applications of Bravo before bloom are beneficial.


The 2020 Fruit Crop Protection Guide Publication 360 is now offered as 5 stand alone crop publications: 360A Apples, 360B Berries, 360C Grapes, 360D Tender Fruit, and 360E Tree Nuts. These publications are free online on the OMAFRA website here: Fruit Crop Production Guides 2020  (URL: These are early release drafts of these publications. The final English versions will be posted when ready. Print copies should be available in May from ServiceOntario Publications. Order online at or by phone 1-800-668-9938 Toll-free across Canada.

2020 Publication 75B: Guide to Weed Control Hort Crops is available free online on the OMAFRA website: Publication 75B, Guide to Weed Control: Hort Crops. (URL: ). Print copies can be ordered from ServiceOntario Publications at a cost of $25 plus shipping and handling.  Order number 300190. Order online at or by phone 1-800-668-9938 Toll-free across Canada.

Funding Opportunities:

Agri-Food Open for E-Business

was announced on Friday, April 24th. This funding opportunity is available to help growers, farmers markets, retailers, greenhouses, and associations develop online business, providing consumers with greater access to your products. See last week’s Berry Bulletin for more information, or visit

This targeted application intake features two funding streams:

  1. Bring Your Business Online. Eligible organizations and businesses can apply for a grant of up to $5,000 to establish an online e-business and marketing presence. Funding under this stream will be quick and responsive for those needing immediate solutions.
  2. Develop Online Business Opportunities. Eligible organizations, businesses and collaborations can apply for cost-share funding of up to $75,000 to implement high-impact projects.

Eligible activities include activities that will help bring businesses online quickly, such as website design and graphic development, development, enhancement and expansion of an online marketing/sale platform, and piloting sales practices and systems. See the link below for the full list. Eligible expenses include costs incurred on or after April 24th.

For more information visit here: Agri-Food Open for E-Business (URL: )

Addressing Labour Supply and Training Challenges.

This funding stream is focused on helping to bring a strong labour force for agri-food and agri-product sectors by implementing new, enhanced or expanded activities for attracting, training and retaining labour.

Eligible projects include implementing new, enhanced or expanded attraction, training and retention approaches to support sectors to address labour supply and training challenges.

For more information visit here: Addressing Labour Supply and Training Challenges (URL:

Upcoming events:

Strawberry and Raspberry IPM workshop.

Will be hosted online this year on Tuesday, May 12th, 1:00-3:00 pm. This webinar will include key insects and diseases for berry scouts to look out for. Pre-recorded presentations will be posted on the ONhortcrops YouTube Channel (URL:, that will cover other important information for berry IPM, including berry production systems and more pest information. These videos will be available beforehand. Videos from other OMAFRA specialists will also be available on this channel.

Pre-registration is required for the Webinar: Register in advance for this meeting: Strawberry and Raspberry IPM Workshop (URL: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Check the ONfruit blog (URL: or the ONvegetables blog (URL: for other workshops.


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

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