June 7 Berry Bulletin

In this bulletin:

  • Crop Update
  • Spotted wing drosophila
  • Ontario Crop Protection Hub

Although the forecast is looking cooler than last week there is still limited rain in the forecast. Make sure all fields are getting enough water. Berry crops will need at least an inch of water per week, especially when the green fruit is forming. Reminder of these useful resources from Rebecca Shortt (OMAFRA) for making irrigation decisions: Drip Irrigation Scheduling and Using ET data to make irrigation decisions (2021).

Strawberries:  With the heat last week the crop is moving along quickly and growers are beginning to harvest early, row-covered June-bearing strawberries. Strawberries that weren’t row covered are starting to ripen and will likely begin to be picked next week. Buds are beginning to emerge in Malwina- don’t forget about this late variety.  A separate spray is likely needed for disease and tarnished plant bug control once bloom is present.  Day-neutral harvest continues as well.   

In new day-neutral plantings, remove flower buds and bloom until the plant is well established – generally 4-6 new leaves present.

Insects: Continue to monitor for aphids, cyclamen mites, two-spotted spider mites, clipper weevils, tarnished plant bug, thrips, and in new fields flea beetles.

  • Tarnished plant bug: TPB activity has increased a bit in the last week, especially in day-neutral fields. Rimon, Assail, Cormoran or Beleaf can be applied at this time to control TPB if needed.
  • Cyclamen mite:  If you are seeing cyclamen mite damage in your fields prepare to apply a miticide after bloom if needed. To confirm it is cyclamen mite look at the youngest leaves. They will look tough, crinkled and crispy and the mite eggs will look like piles of salt inside the folded leaves. Your options are Agri-mek or Vegol Crop Oil. Keep in mind the 10-14 day interval between captan and an oil. Spray the entire block or the entire variety where you are finding mites and damage. If you are not spraying after bloom plan to spray after renovation.
  • New plantings: Watch for flea beetles in new fields.  Some of the insecticides applied for aphids will also provide some control of flea beetles, including Assail, Cygon or Lagon. Malathion may also provide some efficacy when applied for leafhoppers.

Disease: Bloom is almost over in June-bearing strawberries, except for late varieties like Malwina. Spraying after bloom for anthracnose and botrytis is only needed if there are warm & wet conditions. Do not rely on group 11s alone.

  • For day-neutral growers use a group M when possible- there is a 6-day REI for captan and maestro. During harvest rotate between Switch (group 12+9), Diplomat (19) and Quadris Top (11+3)- use Switch when there is high pressure. 

Blueberries: Blueberries are at green fruit and the crop continues to look promising.  If you have a history of scale infestations monitor for crawlers by using black sticky tape or flipping over hard scale shells for crawlers underneath. It is important to control scales at the crawler stage, when insecticides are most effective. New scale damage will be easiest to see on new growth and foliage.  

Raspberries:  Raspberries are at bloom to green fruit.  Do not apply an insecticide during bloom. Check new foliage for leaf shredding- raspberry sawfly damage has been seen. Check primocanes for raspberry can borer injury.

Spotted wing drosophila monitoring: the Berry Growers of Ontario have provided spotted wing drosophila traps for 10 sites. Traps went up last week or are going up this week. So far no SWD have been found. Thank you to the consultants who are helping with monitoring across the province!

Ontario Crop Protection Hub: The Ontario Crop Protection Hub is our new source for crop protection information:

There have been recent enhancements to improve user experience with the Hub including the Berry Pest Management page and the Skip function to bypass the growth stage option when searching for products. See the attached update. There are short training videos available on YouTube on how to find rate, PHI, REI, and max app information: Ontario Crop Protection Hub- How to find rate and comment information for specific crops and pests. If you have questions about using the Hub reach out anytime!

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