July 14 Berry Bulletin

In this bulletin:

  • Crop Update
  • Spotted wing drosophila
  • Soilless Berry Study Group

Strawberries:  The June-bearing season is slowing down as growers are picking late varieties and are beginning to renovate. Growers are mowing fields, narrowing rows, applying fertilizer and herbicides. See last week’s bulletin for information on herbicides and applying miticides if needed. Renovation is an important time to control cyclamen mite as they are more easily reached after mowing.

New fields: Hopper burn can be found in new fields. Look for potato leafhopper nymphs on the underside of the leaves or the white shed skins of the previous instars. Control for nymphs where present. Aphids need to be controlled throughout the season; new fields may need another application soon. There is a very low tolerance for aphids in new fields. Check 50-60 young leaves per field, and spray if populations are roughly 1 aphid per 4 leaves.  Cygon, Lagon, Sivanto Prime, Cormoran, and Assail applied for aphids will provide some control of leafhoppers as well, so these could be a good choice if both pests are present. Powdery mildew is also showing up in new fields, causing leaf curling.

Day-Neutrals: Scout regularly for tarnished plant bug (TPB), two-spotted spider mites, potato leafhoppers, and thrips in day neutrals.

  • Rimon and Beleaf are good options for TPB as they are easy on beneficial insects but they do not provide much, if any, activity on SWD.
  • Cormoran is registered for TPB control with a 1 day PHI and will also provide control for SWD, aphids, and leafhoppers.

 Day-neutral growers should also check out the strawberry disease models that are now available to see the risk of anthracnose and botrytis infection and time fungicide applications. There is a high risk of anthracnose and botrytis in some areas this weekend.

Raspberries:   Raspberry harvest continues. Pick clean, and SWD sprays will be needed this week in some areas.

  • Japanese beetles are also showing up in raspberries in low numbers- Exirel or Malathion applied for SWD will also help control Japanese beetles if needed.
  •  Potato leafhoppers are causing leaf yellowing and curling in raspberries. Control may be necessary if there are 1-2 nymphs per leaf.

Blueberries: blueberries are being harvested in southern Ontario and harvest will begin soon in Eastern Ontario. A few Japanese beetles are starting to be found.

Spotted wing drosophila monitoring: Spotted wing drosophila traps have been set up in Norfolk, Elgin, Middlesex, Chatham-Kent, Oxford, Niagara, Waterloo, Wellington, Dundas, and Renfrew. It is important for growers to monitor on your own farm ; to monitor you can use sticky cards to identify adults, or salt water tests or plastic baggie tests to monitor for larvae. Numbers slightly increased this week in some counties.

Summary of SWD trap catches:

Week traps collected
County/region where SWD was found
Crops where SWD was trapped
June 17-23
June 24-30
July 1-7
Elgin, Oxford, Waterloo, Middlesex, Chatam-Kent
Wild hosts, currants, strawberries
July 8-14
Niagara, Oxford, Dundas, Norfolk
Strawberries, currants, wild hosts

This monitoring is funded by the Berry Growers of Ontario.

SWD prefers moderate temperatures and humid conditions. SWD numbers could build up quickly in these conditions. Berry crops with ripe fruit are now at risk and growers should begin a regular spray program if there is ripe fruit on your farm, including in day-neutral strawberries, summer-fruiting raspberries, and blueberries. 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. (Note the 8 day PHI in blueberries for 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 (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.

Soilless Berry Study Group Join us for this first study group meeting of the season to discuss table top strawberry and long cane raspberry production. At this meeting we’ll have a tour of the farm and table top system, followed by a roundtable discussion on soilless berry production. Growers are encouraged to come prepared with questions or issues they’d like to discuss as a group, and willingness to share from their own experiences growing table top strawberries or long cane raspberries.

When: Thursday, August 24, 2:00-4:00pm

Where: Harry’s Berries, 1230 Windham Road 10, Windham Centre

Cost: Free

Bring your own lawn chairs!

Refreshments will be provided. Please contact Victoria Eastman ( or Erica Pate ( to register.

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