In this bulletin:

  • Crop update
  • Publication 360B
  • Progressive Berry Growers group
  • Berry & Apple Pick-your-own 2021 Round Table
  • Strawberry & Raspberry IPM training
  • Funding Opportunities

Strawberries: After the cold temperatures last week growers are seeing some frost damage to flowers and emerged buds. Plants may compensate for some damage and buds that were in the crown during the frost events are more tolerant and should emerge with a healthy bloom. The forecast tonight is at or below freezing in some areas; after tonight the temperatures are looking more favourable.

Planting has begun for day-neutral and June-bearing strawberries. Apply 50 kg of nitrogen with phosphorus and potassium or as a side dressing 2-3 weeks after planting.

Aphids: apply an aphicide now or once row covers are off. Cygon, Lagon, Exirel, Beleaf and group 4s can be applied at this timing to control aphids.

Cyclamen mite: Check for cyclamen mites now. Damage looks like stunted plants and crinkled, tough leaves.  Agri-mek and Vegol Crop Oil can be applied to control these mites. Agri-mek works best on cyclamen mite when plants are succulent and actively growing. If applying Agri-mek make sure to keep a 10-14 day gap between Agri-mek applications and chlorothalonil (Bravo or Echo) or captan applications

Disease: Bravo or Echo can be applied at this time for botrytis control to reduce disease inoculum and help with disease management later in the season. Make sure to get these applications on before bloom with the 30-day PHI. See the restrictions above if also applying Agri-mek.

We have updated the suggestions for anthracnose management in strawberries.

These suggestions were developed to address the presence of anthracnose resistance to group 11 fungicides in Ontario and the limited products available to growers. This includes the recent changes to the captan label for strawberry growers, including a 6-day REI and a maximum of 6 applications. The suggestions are attached- thanks to everyone who provided input into these suggestions. When managing for anthracnose in day-neutral strawberries in particular it is important to use integrated anthracnose management practices:

  • Apply chlorothalonil or captan before bloom for botrytis control.
  • As much as possible apply broad spectrum fungicides (group M) during bloom.
  • During harvest your options are more limited because of the longer REI and PHI   intervals. Options include Switch, Diplomat, Quadris Top.
  • Do not rely on group 11 products alone.
  • Clean up diseased fruit and remove from field.
  • Nitrogen management is very important. Avoid over-application of nitrogen.

o The source of nitrogen can also have an effect; avoid ammonium forms of nitrogen.

  • Don’t let the plant canopy get too thick.
  • Sanitize between fields (eg. equipment, tools, hands).
  • Start new fields with clean plants from an accredited program. Plug plants from field grown tips carry a higher risk.
  • Work in older fields, and/or diseased fields last.
  • Some new cultivars (eg. Keepsake) have tolerance or resistance to anthracnose – try these out on your farm.

Blueberries: are at bud burst.

Mummy berry: Blueberries can be infected with mummy berry shoot blight at the bud burst stage. If you have a history of mummyberry, control is required from this stage through to early bloom, prior to rain. Infection occurs after wetting periods of 6 or more hours depending on temperature. See the fungicide options in Publication 360B-Berries on page 39.

Use fungicides from different groups to control cane diseases such as phomopsis and anthracnose twig blight. Once bloom arrives, use fungicides that control both anthracnose and botrytis.

White grubs can be a chronic problem, especially in sandy soils. When they feed on blueberry roots, plants fail to thrive. Look for white grubs now. Admire or Alias can be applied as a soil drench, but not until after bloom. The ideal timing is shortly after adults beetles or chafers are active, generally at petal fall, green fruit or after harvest. Admire and Alias are under a phase-out and cannot be used after April 11, 2022.                                           

Raspberries: Are leafing out and primocanes are emerging.  Ferbam and Tanos can be used for early season disease control. For raspberry crown borer control Diazinon can be used when new growth is 10cm above the ground. Only 1 application per year is permitted.


2021 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: ).

Publication 360B: Crop Protection Guide for Berries 2021 is available free online on the OMAFRA website: Publication 360B, Crop Protection Guide for Berries.

Upcoming events:

Berry & Apple Pick-Your-Own 2021 Round Table

Join us for a round table discussion on operating pick-your-own this season. This Zoom meeting will include an overview of the guidelines as well as a round table discussion with growers and staff. After changing the way growers operate pick-your-own in 2020, this meeting is a chance to talk about what worked and what didn’t, ask questions, and share your experiences to prepare growers for a successful and safe 2021 season. This round table is open for growers and staff of pick-your-own operations. Please feel free to send questions before the round table to Erica Pate ( regarding berry operations or Erika DeBrouwer ( regarding apple operations for them to be addressed during the call.

When: May 18, 2021, 7:00 PM. Registration is required. Please register in advance here:–urTkvEt3j3kfBZ313efx5gQZX1zi1

Strawberry and Raspberry IPM workshop webinar. May 11th, 9:00-11:00am, via Zoom.  This workshop will cover strawberry and raspberry pests, including spotted wing drosophila, thrips, cyclamen mites, and aphids. Check out the pre-recorded videos which provide an introduction to berry production systems, strawberry diseases and viruses, and root pests: ONhortcrops YouTube Channel (URL: These videos are available now. Videos from other OMAFRA specialists are also available on this channel. Pre-registration is required for the Webinar: Click here to register

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, including Intro to IPM, Apple, Tender Fruit, Grape, Tomatoes & Peppers, Sweet Corn and Cucurbit IPM workshops.

Funding Opportunities:

Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program (EAWPP) Intake opened on April 22, 2021 for the new $10 million EAWPP to help farmers and agri-food operators purchase personal protective equipment, enhance cleaning and disinfection and redesign workstations to better protect workers.  The funding will help farmers who experience unexpected costs as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak among on-farm employees.

  • Farms and agri-food businesses that hire three or more employees will be eligible for funding.
  • Additional businesses and workers are eligible including corn detasselers, transporters, hatcheries, and primary processing.

Funding is available through the following categories:

  1. The Workplace COVID-19 Prevention category will support the adoption of prevention and mitigation measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among agri-food workers/employees.
  2. The Responsive COVID-19 Outbreak Management category will reimburse eligible applicants who have been impacted by outbreaks of COVID-19 and faced with extraordinary costs related to employee wage supports and worker/employee isolation.

Eligible expenses include PPE, physical distancing measures, medical equipment, accomodations, transportation, translation services and more. Click here for more information.

The Agri-tech Innovation Program is a new $22-million cost-share program that will help farming operations and processor businesses adopt innovative and new technologies. This intake will support implementation of sector-specific, unique and innovative technologies in the workplace that enhance protection of workers against COVID-19, lead to increased business efficiencies and productivity, and help build the sector’s resilience. The first intake will run from May 17 to June 21, 2021. Watch for detailed program information and application forms.   

Follow our ONfruit blog for regular updates and berry information.

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