In this bulletin:

  • Crop update
  • Progressive Berry Growers group
  • Berry & Apple Pick-your-own 2021 Round Table
  • Funding Opportunities

Strawberries: It has been a challenging week after multiple frost events. Growers have been busy irrigation and putting row covers on and off. There is some damage to varieties that were in bloom during the recent frosts. Plants may compensate for some damage and buds that were in the crown during the frost events are more tolerant and should have a healthy bloom.

Buds are coming out of the crown in mid-season varieties. Some row-covered early varieties have green fruit. With the cooler weather berries are closer to their normal harvest date than they initially were after the warm temperatures we had in April. Over-wintered day-neutrals have green fruit.

Planting continues for day-neutral and June-bearing strawberries.

Aphids: there are plenty of aphids where an aphicide hasn’t been applied yet. Aphid control is very important to control strawberry viruses. Cygon, Lagon, Exirel, Beleaf and group 4s can be applied before bloom. Assail and Beleaf will also control TPB. Malathion, Mako, Decis, Matador and Rimon do not control aphids in strawberries.  Do not use Admire at this timing; Admire cannot be used pre-bloom or during bloom.

Cyclamen mite: We are starting to see active mites and damage in fields.  Keep an eye on fields that were row covered. Damage looks like stunted plants and crinkled, crispy, tough leaves. Check the newest leaves for mites- pull the folded leaves apart and look at the mid vein- egg masses will look like piles of salt.  If mites or damage are found spray the entire field or the entire variety.  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. Use a high-volume spray. Timing can be challenging; 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.

Tarnished plant bugs & clipper weevil: we are starting to see TPB nymphs. Check in your fields that were row-covered for TPB and clipper weevil. Beleaf during bloom will suppress TPB and control aphids.

Two-spotted spider mite- Oberon: There has been a change to the Oberon label, and Oberon can no longer be used during bloom, limiting its use for day-neutral strawberries. This update is not included in Pub 360B yet- Oberon should not be used at the ‘Bloom and green fruit’ stages.

Disease: During bloom include a broad-spectrum fungicide for both botrytis and anthracnose control. 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • Work in older fields, and/or diseased fields last
  • Some new cultivars (eg Keepsake) have tolerance or resistance to anthracnose-try these on your farm

Blueberries: are beginning to bloom in southern Ontario.              

Disease: 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.

Cranberry fruitworm and cherry fruitworm: begin to fly at bloom. Petal fall applications of an insecticide can be timed by using pheromone traps or degree day models. In the absence of this information, make two applications of an insecticide beginning at petal fall.

Nutrition: Apply nitrogen in a split-application. For newly-planted blueberries apply a total of 12 g per plant. For established blueberries apply a total of 36-48 g per bush in a split application- the second application can go on in mid-May.

Raspberries:  Are leafing out and fruit buds are starting to be seen. We can expect to see faster growth with the warmer weather.  Begin to monitor for raspberry fruitworm and strawberry clipper weevil once fruit buds are present.  Scout for these insects with a tapping tray or dish. For raspberry crown borer control Diazinon can be used when new growth is 10cm above the ground. Only 1 application per year is permitted. If you don’t have Diazinon you can use Altacor in late August- early September. For more information on raspberry crown borer check out this article:  Making a comeback- revisting raspberry crown borer control.

Protect growing primocanes and developing laterals with fungicides before and during bloom. Ferbam (before bloom only)  and Tanos are registered for cane diseases, but Pristine and Switch also do a great job on cane diseases when they are used to control Botrytis grey mould. Good coverage is important.

Berry & Apple Pick-Your-Own 2021 Round Table

Join us for a round table discussion on operating pick-your-own this season. 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 Zoom meeting will include an overview of the guidelines as well as a round table discussion. Dean Anderson, Strategic advisor with WSPS, will also be joining to talk about safety plans, and will be available to help answer your questions. 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


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.

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, accommodations, 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.   

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