Berries Pest Management

June 26 Berry Bulletin

In this bulletin:

  • Crop & pest update
  • Spotted wing drosophila monitoring

Strawberries: June-bearing harvest continues with growers picking mid-season varieties, and Valley Sunset is beginning to be harvested. The cooler temperatures recently have been great for harvest, and pick-your-own is going well.

Day-neutral harvest is slowing down on over-wintered fields as growers focus on June-bearing harvest. New day-neutral fields are well established and flower buds are being left on.  

Potato leafhoppers: ‘Hopper burn’ is showing up in day-neutrals and June-bearing strawberries. New plantings are more susceptible to leafhopper injury- look for yellowing leaves that are curled down and check the underside of leaves for nymphs.  Spray when nymphs and injury are present. Malathion, Assail, Cormoran and Surround are registered for leafhopper control- Assail and Cormoran will also control aphids. Aphids should be controlled every 3-4 weeks.

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. The remaining options with short PHIs are Nealta, Kopa, and oils.

Disease:  With the warm and wet conditions in the forecast make sure to have a fungicide on for botrytis and anthracnose where bloom and fruit are present. Anthracnose is a threat when there are warm and rainy conditions. Use group Ms now during bloom or a gap in production, as group Ms cannot be used close to harvest (6 day REI).

Don’t forget about late June-bearing varieties like Malwina- make sure to have a fungicide on before rain to protect against anthracnose and botrytis.  

Blueberries: are beginning to ripen and the crop looks good. If applying nitrogen in a split application early July is a good time for a third 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- 6-12g/plant at this time.

Nematodes: We are continuing the nematode survey in blueberries that we began in 2019 with AAFC nematologist Tahera Sultana. If any growers suspect they have nematode damage in their blueberries please let me know. I am happy to visit any sites with plants with poor vigour or suspected nematode damage to collect samples for this survey.


Raspberries are beginning to harvested in the south-west and in southern Ontario harvest could begin next week.  As harvest approaches a fungicide may be necessary with the wet weather. There are a number of products registered- see page 85 in Pub 360 B.

There has been low insect pressure but Japanese beetles are beginning to show up. Sevin, Assail and Exirel are registered for Japanese beetles. Exirel is also a good choice for spotted wing drosophila so plan to use Exirel if controlling SWD as well. Watch for two-spotted spider mites in fall-bearing raspberries, especially in tunnels. Kanemite, Acramite, Oberon and Kopa can be applied before harvest for TSSM control.

Spotted Wing Drosophila:

The first SWD has been found in Oxford county. Spraying for SWD isn’t necessary until there is ripe fruit present + SWD is active in your area, however growers should prepare to manage SWD.  You can also monitor your fruit with a salt test or plastic baggie test.

Do not count on sprays alone– use as many of these tools as possible through the season to control SWD: 

  • Spray every 5-7 days, and reapply after a rain.
  • Keep your fruit picked regularly and clean!
  • Cool fruit immediately after harvest.
  • Keep alleys clean- either remove unmarketable fruit or crush it in the alley
  • After unmarketable fruit is removed it should be destroyed (disposed of, or leave in plastic bags in the sun).
  • Make the environment less favourable to SWD- prune the canopy and manage water to reduce humidity (repair leaking drop lines).
  • Calibrate your sprayers now to ensure excellent coverage once you start to spray.
  • Insecticides target SWD adults- make sure to spray when adults are active, in the morning and evening.
  • Using Mako/Up-Cyde can lead to a mite outbreak. Reserve this product for fields that are in their final year of production.

Follow our ONfruit blog for regular updates and berry information.

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