Berries Blueberries Raspberries Strawberries

July 29 Berry Bulletin

In this bulletin:

  • Crop & Pest Update
  • Spotted wing drosophila management
  • Farmer Wellness Initiative

Strawberries:  Malwina is finished and renovation continues as growers mow and apply herbicides to June-bearing strawberries. Make sure renovated fields are in good condition by mid-August for flower bud initiation. Irrigation will be an important part of the renovation process in dry areas. Spring-planted and overwintered day-neutrals are being harvested.

Insects: Day-neutral growers should continue to monitor for tarnished plant bug, potato leafhopper and two-spotted spider mite. SWD is active in all areas we are monitoring and all growers with ripe fruit should be managing for SWD. 

Potato Leafhopper: leafhoppers can be found in day-neutrals and new June-bearing plantings.  Watch for leaves that are curled down with yellow or pale green leaf edges (‘hopper burn’). Confirm damage is caused by leafhoppers by looking on the underside of leaves for nymphs.

  • If control is necessary in new plantings choose a product that will control leafhoppers and aphids, such as Cormoran, Sivanto Prime, Assail, Cygon or Lagon.
  • aphids need to be managed every 2-4 weeks if you are not monitoring for them- there is very low tolerance for aphids in new fields. 
  • Cormoran and Malathion will control both leafhoppers and SWD in day-neutrals.

Disease: with some recent rain maintain regular fungicide coverage for anthracnose, powdery mildew and botrytis. Remember to not rely on group 11s alone- there is anthracnose resistance to group 11s in Ontario.

Raspberries:  Summer-fruiting raspberry harvest is slowing down. Consider a postharvest insecticide for SWD control  if there are fall bearing raspberries or blueberries on your farm.

Blueberries: blueberry harvest continues with a good crop. SWD is the most challenging pest right now- maintain regular insecticide coverage and re-apply after a rain.

Spotted Wing Drosophila Management 2022- All growers with ripening and ripe berries should be spraying regularly (every 5-7 days, re-applying after a rain).

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.
    • Using the best products first will help knock the population back down at the beginning of the season. The most efficacious products include Exirel, Delegate, Success, Harvanta and Cormoran.
    • Reapply after ½ inch of rain.
    • Use products from different groups.
    • Spray in the morning (6-10am) or in the evening (6-10 pm) when SWD is active.
    • Do not spray in temperatures above 25C.
    • Pyrethroid insecticides (Mako, Up-Cyde) will not work well in hot weather and will cause an increase in mites. Save these products for later when weather cools off and mite pressure is low.
  • Keep your fruit picked regularly and clean- this can be very effective!
  • 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.
  • Renovate June-bearing strawberries as soon as possible.

The Farmer Wellness Initiative offers farmers across Ontario and members of their household will have access to free counselling sessions with a mental health professional. The mental health professionals have received training to understand the unique needs of Ontario farmers. Accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, in English and French, farmers can call 1-866-267-6255 to speak to a counsellor. This service is provided by LifeWorks.

The Farmer Wellness Initiative is supported by the Canadian Mental Health Association-Ontario Division, in partnership with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, and aims to protect and enhance the mental well-being of farmers and their families. This initiative is funded by the governments of Canada and Ontario, and through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), a five-year federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

This program will provide valuable support for the agricultural community by giving farmers easy access to a comprehensive network of mental health counselling and crisis services. Together, we can break the silence. Please visit to learn more.

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