August 6, 2020

In this bulletin:

  • Crop & pest update
  • Spotted wing drosophila
  • Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program

Blueberry and day-neutral strawberry harvest continues. Fall-bearing raspberries are in bloom and ripening.

Berry Bulletin August 6th


Many growers across the province received a good rain over the weekend. This will help new and renovated fields as they begin to re-grow after being mowed. Growers are applying fertilizer and herbicides as renovation is completed in June-bearing fields. Mid-August is quickly approaching, when plants should be in good shape for fruit bud initiation. Apply 25-35 kg N per ha in mid-August to new and renovated fields. New plantings are beginning to runner.

Day-neutral harvest continues across the province, and yields are slowing increasing.

Insects:  Spotted wing drosophila is active in all areas we are monitoring.  All growers with day-neutrals strawberries, raspberries and blueberries should be managing for SWD. See more details on SWD management below.

Monitor for potato leafhoppers, two-spotted spider mites and tarnished plant bugs in day-neutrals.

Continue to manage aphids in new and renovated June-bearing fields. Assess your renovated fields for cyclamen mite damage or activity and plan to spray if necessary. If you are not controlling for cyclamen mites after renovation keep an eye on the field in September or early next spring for damage and to time the next spray. Remember the key to managing cyclamen mites is getting the miticide to the crown where the mites are- use a high volume and low speed. Also keep an eye on two-spotted spider mites in June-bearing fields.

Disease:  the rain over the weekend could lead to anthracnose outbreaks. Make sure you are maintaining fungicide coverage in day-neutrals for anthracnose, botrytis and powdery mildew.


Summer-fruiting raspberry harvest is finishing up. The big demand for Ontario berries and PYO we saw with strawberries continued in raspberries.  Fall-bearing raspberries are beginning to bloom and there are green berries in early areas and protected culture. Watch for two-spotted spider mites, especially in tunnel berries (Fig 1). Look for stippling and bronzing on lower leaves. A miticide might be necessary if you notice damage or the mite population is increasing.

Demand continues to be very good for berries. See the SWD update below- regular SWD sprays are needed from now on depending on your area.

Mottled, discoloured raspberry leaves from two-spotted spider mites.
Stippling from two-spotted spider mites on raspberry leaves.



Blueberry harvest continues and I am hearing the demand for blueberries and pick your own is strong. Galls from blueberry stem gall wasp can be found in blueberries- these galls contain larvae that will overwinter and emerge during bloom next spring. If you see these galls make sure to prune them out.

Kidney-shaped gall on a blueberry stem.
Gall from Blueberry stem gall wasp

Spotted wing drosophila:

After some rain and cooler weather, we anticipate SWD pressure to increase. Make sure you are harvesting regularly and maintaining a regular spray program (every 5-7 days). Check out our blog for information on applying insecticides after a rain : Rainfastness of Insecticides ( ) Growers need to continue managing for SWD where ripe fruit is present, including in day-neutral strawberries blueberries.

If there is ripe fruit present in your area it is at risk for SWD damage.  SWD should be managed by harvesting early, thoroughly and often- every 1 to 2 days. Weekly sprays are also needed to help keep SWD under control. Reapplication is needed after ½ – inch rains. Pyrethroid insecticides (Mako, Up-Cyde) will not work well in hot weather and will cause an increase in mites. Save this product for later in the season when mite pressure is low.

Use all forms of management. Do not spray in temperatures above 25oC. Cool fruit as soon as possible after harvest. Use a salt water test to assess control on your farm.

Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program

The Government of Ontario has updated and enhanced the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program. Project costs incurred on or after March 15, 2020, are now eligible for funding.

Submit your eligible expenses today at:

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