August 16 Berry Bulletin

In this bulletin:

  • Crop & Pest Update
  • Spotted wing drosophila management
  • Berry Growers of Ontario Twilight Meeting
  • Farmer Wellness Initiative

Strawberries:  Many growers are finishing up renovation. In new June-bearing fields continue to rain runners. Mid-August is time to apply 25-35 kg N/ ha to both new fields and renovated fields. Day-neutrals are being harvested and are looking good.

Insects: June-bearing growers should continue to manage for strawberry aphids, in renovated and new fields.  Aphids like the new, succulent growth following renovation and in new fields. If you are not monitoring for aphids they need to be sprayed every 2-4 weeks.  Day-neutral growers should continue to monitor for tarnished plant bug, potato leafhopper and two-spotted spider mite.

Mites: cyclamen mite can be found in renovated field- now that there is some new growth in these fields it is a good time for control.   

Disease: At this point in the season it is important to maintain regular fungicide protection for anthracnose, powdery mildew and botrytis. Plan to save your Switch applications for when conditions are highly favourable for anthracnose infection (hot, humid weather and rain).

Powdery mildew control may be necessary for new June-bearing plantings. Leaf edges will roll up and reddish-grey blotches will develop along the edge of the lower leaf surface.

Raspberries:   Fall-bearing raspberries continue to be harvested. Clean up summer raspberries if you have other berries on your farm to help control SWD. In high tunnels watch for two-spotted spider mites.

Late-August to early-September is a good time to apply Altacor for raspberry crown borer, to target hatching eggs. Make sure to get good coverage.  A second application can be made in mid-October to target overwintering larvae.  Spring applications are another option for control; these applications target the larvae before they move into the crown.

Blueberries: blueberry harvest is slowing down as growers move onto later varieties. It is very important for growers to maintain a tight SWD spray schedule and re-apply after a rain.

Spotted Wing Drosophila Management 2022- SWD is active in all areas and pressure is increasing.

SWD pressure is high across the province and growers should continue to spray every 5-7 days for the rest of the season and harvest regularly. Growers need to continue managing for SWD where ripe fruit is present, including in day-neutral strawberries, raspberries & blueberries. 

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.

Mark your calendars for the Berry Growers of Ontario Twilight Meeting, coming up September 7th at Watson Farms in Bowmanville. Registration is required- email to register.

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.

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