Sweet Corn IPM Newsletter No. 2 – July 3, 2015

July 2nd, 2015 4:22 PM

Sweet CornSweet Corn IPM Newsletter No. 2 – July 3, 2015

Click on photos to enlarge.

CORN EARWORM MOTHS MORE WIDESPREAD

European Corn Borer Feeding Over Threshold in Pre-Tassel Fields

SITUATION
Cool night temperatures through much of the state have slowed corn development a bit this week, although overall growth looks very good. More early fields in southern Maine are coming into tassel and a couple of fields started under plastic or row covers are in silk. Both European corn borer and corn earworm are now active in cornfields in much of the state. These are especially a threat to early silking fields, which growers often spray lightly, if at all; assuming these pests aren’t yet present in damaging numbers.

 

European corn borer: Moth catches are spotty around the state this week with a little less than half of the sites now catching moths. A field in Nobleboro was over threshold of 5 moths per week; but there was not yet any silking corn in the field, so no spray was recommended. European corn borer feeding damage was over the 15% threshold within pre-tassel fields in North Berwick and Livermore Falls. Otherwise, feeding damage has been very light.

Corn earworm: More locations captured corn earworm moths this week, although numbers are still low, and most fields do not yet have any silking corn that could be threatened by this pest. When more than one corn earworm moth is found at a site, all silking corn in the fields should be protected with a spray. Additional sprays are based on the average number of moths caught per week or per night (see table below). Only one field in Dayton had moths over threshold and early silking corn. A 6-day spray interval was recommended at that location, based on a weekly moth catch of 2.

Fall armyworm: No moths have been captured in our pheromone traps this week, and no feeding damage has been reported. This is usually the last major corn pest to arrive in Maine from southern overwintering sites.

Squash vine borer moths were caught in pheromone traps in Dayton and Wells this week. George Hamilton in New Hampshire has been reporting high numbers of moths this week. This pest threatens summer squash, winter squash and pumpkins. Unlike many moths, squash vine borer moths fly during the day. They are black and orange and resemble wasps. The moths lay eggs at the base of squash plants. The larvae bore into the base of the plants, causing vines to wilt and eventually collapse. The control threshold for squash vine borer moths is 5, which was exceeded at the site in Dayton this week. See the 2014-2015 New England Vegetable Management Guide for control options.

Spotted wing drosophila: The first captures of a spotted wing drosophila are being reported from southern New England this week. These small fruit flies can cause serious fruit losses in raspberries, blueberries and other soft fruits. The flies only attack fruit that has begun to ripen. We will be setting out traps for spotted wing drosophila in Maine berry fields over the next two weeks. We don’t expect populations to reach damaging levels for at least a few more weeks. For more information visit our web blog.

Highmoor Farm Field Day
The Highmoor Farm Field Day will be held on Wednesday, July 22, 2015. Visit the Highmoor Farm Field Day blog for more information.

Sincerely,

David T. Handley
Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist

Highmoor Farm                       Pest Management Office
P.O. Box 179                              491 College Avenue
Monmouth, ME 04259           Orono, ME 04473
207.933.2100                            1.800.287.0279

Sweet Corn IPM Weekly Scouting Summary

Location CEW
Moths
ECB
Moths
FAW
Moths
%Feeding
Damage
Recommendations / Comments
Auburn 5 2 0 0% No spray recommended (no silking corn)
Biddeford 0 0 0 5% No spray recommended
Bowdoinham 0 3 0 No spray recommended
Cape Elizabeth I 0 0 0 0% No spray recommended
Cape Elizabeth II 1 0 0 1% No spray recommended (no silking corn)
Dayton I 2 4 0 6-day spray interval recommended on all silking corn
Dayton II 0 3 0 0% No spray recommended
Lewiston 1 0 0 0% No spray recommended (no silking corn)
Livermore Falls 0 6 0 31% One spray recommended for ECB on pre-tassel corn
New Gloucester 0 0 0 No spray recommended
Nobleboro 2 34 0 0% No spray recommended (no silking corn)
No. Berwick 1 0 0 41% One spray recommended for ECB on pre-tassel corn
Poland Spring 0 0 0 1% No spray recommended
Warren 0 0 0 0% No spray recommended
Wells I 2 0 0 1% No spray recommended (no silking corn)
Wells II 0 0 0 0% No spray recommended

CEW: Corn earworm (Only fresh silking corn should be sprayed for this insect.)
ECB: European corn borer
FAW: Fall armyworm

Corn Earworm Spray Thresholds for Pheromone Traps

Moths caught per week Moths caught per night Spray interval
0.0 to 1.4 0.0 to 0.2 No spray
1.5 to 3.5 0.3 to 0.5 Spray every 6 days
3.6 to 7.0 0.6 to 1.0 Spray every 5 days
7.1 to 91 1.1 to 13.0 Spray every 4 days
More than 91 More than 13 Spray every 3 days

Thresholds apply only to corn with exposed fresh silk. Lengthen spray intervals by one day if maximum daily temperature is less than 80°F.

European Corn Borer Thresholds
Whorl stage: 30% or more of plants scouted show injury.
Pre-tassel-silk: 15% or more of plants scouted show injury.
Silk: 5 or more moths caught in pheromone traps in one week.

IPM Web Pages:
http://extension.umaine.edu/ipm/
http://www.pestwatch.psu.edu/sweet_corn.htm

http://www.umass.edu/umext/ipm/

Where brand names or company names are used it is for the reader’s information. No endorsement is implied nor is any discrimination intended against other products with similar ingredients. Always consult product labels for rates, application instructions and safety precautions. Users of these products assume all associated risks.

Published and distributed in furtherance of the Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914, by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, the Land Grant University of the State of Maine and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Cooperative Extension and other agencies of the U.S.D.A. provide equal opportunities in programs and employment.

 

 

 

Sweet Corn IPM Newsletter No. 1 – June 26, 2015

June 29th, 2015 9:26 AM

Sweet CornSweet Corn IPM Newsletter No. 1 – June 26, 2015
Click on photos to enlarge.

2015 SWEET CORN PEST SEASON BEGINS!

European Corn Borer and Corn Earworm Moths Active in Early Fields

The 2015 University of Maine Cooperative Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program for sweet corn is underway. More than twenty volunteer farms are serving as pest monitoring and demonstration sites, with fields in North Berwick, Wells, Dayton, Cape Elizabeth, New Gloucester, Poland Spring, Auburn, Lewiston, Sabattus, Nobleboro, Warren, Monmouth, Wales, Wayne, Oxford, Farmington, Levant, Stillwater, Garland and East Corinth. Pheromone traps have been set up at these farms to monitor the adult (moth) stages of European corn borer, corn earworm and fall armyworm, and we are scouting the fields for feeding injury by insect larvae. We will share the information we collect at these sites along with management recommendations every week during the season through this newsletter and blog. If you would prefer to receive this newsletter via e-mail, give us a call at 207.933.2100 or send an e-mail message to: pamela.stpeter@maine.edu.

Corn Field at Whorl Stage

Corn Field at Whorl Stage, photo by David Handley

SITUATION
A dry early spring and warm temperatures in May allowed farmers to get some early cornfields planted and growing. Cooler temperatures this month have slowed development of young plants, but overall growth looks good. Some very early corn, started under plastic or row covers is already beginning to silk in southern Maine. Most early fields are at late whorl and early pre-tassel. Some weather fronts coming up from the south have apparently brought some corn earworm in the state, and European corn borer moths are already active in some fields. Growers with early corn should be on the lookout for feeding damage in their fields.

European corn borer: Moths have been found in many of our pheromone traps this week, suggesting that this insect is off to an early start and is now laying eggs in young cornfields. The egg masses are small and look like a clump of overlapping fish scales on the undersides of corn leaves. European corn borer overwinters in Maine, and is usually the first pest to become a significant problem. To monitor corn borer, we scout 100 corn plants in each field, examining twenty plants in a row at five different locations. This provides a good estimate of the total amount of injury in a field.

In the early stages, European corn borer feeding damage looks like small “pinholes” in the leaves. Whorl stage corn only needs to be sprayed if fresh feeding injury is found on 30% or more of the plants scouted in a field. Once the corn reaches the pre-tassel stage, the control threshold is lowered to 15% because larvae feeding on the later stages are more likely to move into the ears. On the tassels, feeding damage first appears as chewing and brown waste found in the small florets. After the tassel has emerged from the stalk, the larvae chew into the stalk just below it, often causing the tassel to fall over. Sprays during the pre-tassel stage, when both moths and larvae are present, reduce the opportunity for larvae to move into the stalks and ears of the plant. Once the larvae are in the stalks they are protected from sprays. Good spray coverage of the entire plant provides the most effective kill of larvae as they move from one part of the plant to another. Rotating the type of insecticide used also improves control. Materials registered for controlling European corn borer include Bacillus thuringiensis products (XenTari®, Dipel DF®), Avaunt®, Coragen®, Warrior®, Lannate®, Baythroid®, Asana®, Radiant®, Delta Gold®, Mustang®, Sevin XLR® and Larvin®.

Thus far, we have only found corn borer feeding injury in a pre-tassel field in North Berwick. But the presence of moths in other locations suggests that feeding injury will soon become more widespread. Growers should start scouting whorl stage corn for feeding injury now. Once corn reaches the silk stage, sprays may be based on the number of corn borer moths caught in pheromone traps rather than feeding injury. European corn borer moths will lay eggs on flag leaves of silking corn, and the larvae can move into the ears without leaving visible feeding injury that would be noticed when scouting. If more than five moths are caught during a week in a field with silking corn, a spray is recommended. One field in Dayton had early silking corn this week, and was over the spray threshold for moths in the pheromone traps. Fields in Lewiston, Nobleboro and Wayne were also over the control threshold, but there was no silking corn at those sites, so no spray was recommended. Varieties of corn genetically modified to produce the Bt toxin (e.g. Bt corn, Attribute® varieties), should not need to be sprayed to control European corn borer.

European Corn Borer Moth

European Corn Borer Moth, photo by David Handley

Corn Earworm Moth

Corn Earworm Moth, photo by David Handley

Corn earworm: Moths were caught in pheromone traps at two coastal sites this week (Nobleboro and Warren). This is a relatively early arrival of corn earworm in Maine, but because most locations do not yet have silking corn, they pose very little threat at this time. Corn earworm generally appears in Maine in early July, but the actual date varies greatly. The arrival of this pest is only a concern for fields with corn in the silk stage. Fields not yet in silk do not need to be protected from corn earworm. When corn earworm moths start being caught at a site, all silking corn in the fields should be protected with a spray. These moths lay eggs on the fresh silks and the larvae move directly into the ears of corn. When corn earworm moths cannot find silking corn to deposit their eggs on, they may lay eggs on the leaves of younger corn. The larvae will feed on the foliage and tassels, similar to armyworm, until the ears become available. When larvae are found feeding on younger corn, the damage is accounted for, along with any borer or armyworm damage, to determine if a spray is warranted.

Fall armyworm: This is usually the last serious corn insect pest to arrive in Maine. The moths must fly in from southern over-wintering sites, and tend to lay their eggs on the youngest corn available. When the larvae hatch, they chew large, ragged holes in the leaves, and may bore into developing ears. Larvae may also move into the ears through the silk channel, behaving similarly to corn earworm. Pheromone trap catches will indicate if there is a threat to silking corn. However, corn will usually be on a spray program for corn earworm when fall armyworm is present, and both insects would be controlled. We have not yet caught any fall armyworm moths in our pheromone traps.

Harstack Trap

Harstack Trap, photo by David Handley

Do-It-Yourself IPM: To get the most accurate information about the pest situation on your farm you should monitor the fields yourself on a regular basis. Pheromone traps and lures are available that can give you an accurate, early warning of the arrival of all of the major insect pests. Traps and lures can be purchased from pest management supply companies such as Gempler’s (Tel. 1.800.382.8473) or Great Lakes IPM (Tel. 517.268.5693).

To learn more about IPM scouting techniques, insect identification and control thresholds, order the fact sheet Managing Insect Pests of Sweet Corn available from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Color pictures are provided to help with insect identification, and a chart with spray thresholds is supplied to post near your sprayer for easy reference. You can download a copy from the Cooperative Extension Publications website at or call the Pest Management Office at 1.800.287.0279.

Hold the Date!
Highmoor Farm Field Day will be held on Wednesday, July 22, 2015. Visit the Highmoor Farm Field Day blog for more information.

Sincerely,

David T. Handley
Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist

Highmoor Farm                       Pest Management Office
P.O. Box 179                              491 College Avenue
Monmouth, ME 04259          Orono, ME 04473
207.933.2100                            1.800.287.0279

Sweet Corn IPM Weekly Scouting Summary

Location CEW
Moths
ECB
Moths
FAW
Moths
%Feeding
Damage
Recommendations /
Comments
Auburn 0 4 0 0% No spray recommended
Biddeford 0 0% No spray recommended
Bowdoinham 0 0 0 No spray recommended
Cape Elizabeth I 0 2 0 0% No spray recommended
Cape Elizabeth II 0 0 0 0% No spray recommended
Dayton I 0 8 0 0% One spray recommended for ECB on silking corn
Dayton II 0 0 0 0% No spray recommended
Farmington 0 3 0 0% No spray recommended
Lewiston 0 8 0 0% No spray recommended (no silking corn)
New Gloucester 0 0 0 0% No spray recommended
Nobleboro 3 41 0 0% No spray recommended (no silking corn)
No. Berwick 0 4 0 38% One spray recommended for ECB on pre-tassel corn
Oxford 0 0 0 0% No spray recommended
Poland Spring 0 0 0 0% No spray recommended
Sabattus 0 1 0 0% No spray recommended
Wales 0 0 0 0% No spray recommended
Warren 1 0 0 0% No spray recommended (no silking corn)
Wayne 0 5 0 0% No spray recommended (no silking corn)
Wells I 0 0 0 0% No spray recommended
Wells II 0 0 0 0% No spray recommended

CEW: Corn earworm (Only fresh silking corn should be sprayed for this insect.)
ECB: European corn borer
FAW: Fall armyworm

Corn Earworm Spray Thresholds for Pheromone Traps

Moths caught per week Moths caught per night Spray interval
0.0 to 1.4 0.0 to 0.2 No spray
1.5 to 3.5 0.3 to 0.5 Spray every 6 days
3.6 to 7.0 0.6 to 1.0 Spray every 5 days
7.1 to 91 1.1 to 13.0 Spray every 4 days
More than 91 More than 13 Spray every 3 days

Thresholds apply only to corn with exposed fresh silk. Lengthen spray intervals by one day if maximum daily temperature is less than 80°F.

European Corn Borer Thresholds
Whorl stage: 30% or more of plants scouted show injury.
Pre-tassel-silk: 15% or more of plants scouted show injury.
Silk: 5 or more moths caught in pheromone traps in one week.

IPM Web Pages:
http://extension.umaine.edu/ipm/
http://www.pestwatch.psu.edu/sweet_corn.htm
http://www.umass.edu/umext/ipm/

Where brand names or company names are used it is for the reader’s information. No endorsement is implied nor is any discrimination intended against other products with similar ingredients. Always consult product labels for rates, application instructions and safety precautions. Users of these products assume all associated risks.

Published and distributed in furtherance of the Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914, by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, the Land Grant University of the State of Maine and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Cooperative Extension and other agencies of the U.S.D.A. provide equal opportunities in programs and employment.

Highmoor Farm Field Day – July 22, 2015

June 24th, 2015 9:32 AM

Highmoor Farm Field Day

Tall spindle apple trees

Tall Spindle Apple Trees, photo by Renae Moran

Wednesday, July 22, 2015
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Highmoor Farm, 52 US Route 202, Monmouth, Maine 04259
Registration fee is $20.00 (includes lunch). Preregistration is strongly encouraged.

Register online or contact Pam St. Peter at pamela.stpeter@maine.edu or 207.933.2100 to preregister. Please register by July 15 to give us an accurate count for lunch.

The Maine State Pomological Society and Maine Vegetable and Small Fruit Growers Association will be joining with the Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to hold a public field day at Highmoor Farm in Monmouth on Wednesday, July 22, 2013, rain or shine.

High Tunnel Tomatoes

High Tunnel Tomatoes, photo by Danielle Murray

This year’s field day will include tours of current research projects in tree fruit, including a new tall spindle orchard, and projects in vegetables and berries, including grape and raspberry variety trials, sweet corn evaluations, pumpkin trials, broccoli evaluations, as well as reduced tillage in organic systems and permanent beds, high tunnel tomatoes, irrigation and compost application in high tunnels, trellis installation and DA meters.

Growers are welcome to attend the whole day, or may come for just the morning or afternoon programs and tours. Whichever you decide, please plan to be there for lunch to share some time and informal discussion with fellow farmers, research and Extension staff and state officials.

Highmoor Farm is the Field Research Station for fruits and vegetables, and has been working with Maine farmers to improve crop production since 1909, when the farm was purchased by the state to carry out research on orchard practices. For more than 100 years, researchers at Highmoor Farm have helped to develop cultural techniques, new varieties and pest management practices to improve the success of Maine’s vegetable and fruit farmers.

AGENDA

9:00 AM Registration
9:30 AM Welcome and Opening Remarks
Fred Servello, Maine Agricultural & Forest Experiment Station Associate Director
John Rebar, University of Maine Cooperative Extension Director
9:45 AM How Changes in the Farm Bill May Impact our Business
Erin Roche, Maine Crop Insurance Education Program Manager
10:00 AM Using the DA Meter to Measure Fruit Ripeness and to Solve Honeycrisp Storage Problems
Larry Lutz, Scotian Gold Tree Fruit Specialist, Nova Scotia
10:30 AM Break
10:45 AM Making Your Farm Safe for Visitors and Employees
Maine Department of Labor SafetyWorks! Program
11:15 AM Maine State Pomological Society Business Meeting
Andy Ricker, President
Legislative Update
State Senator James Dill and State Representative Jeffrey Timberlake
12:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM Concurrent Experiment Station Research Tours
Tree Fruit Tour –
Renae Moran, Glen Koehler, and special guests Larry Lutz, Scotian Gold Tree Fruit Specialist and Jorge Acero, Maine Department of Labor State Monitor Advocate for Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers. Strategies for controlling bitter pit in Honeycrisp, the new tall spindle apple orchard, cold hardy plum varieties, and ladder safety. Scotian Gold is a cooperative in Nova Scotia with 55 grower-members representing 2,500 acres of apple trees.
Berry and Vegetable Tour –
David Handley and Mark Hutton. Pumpkin, sweet corn, broccoli and grape variety trials; pest update; and reduced tillage in organic systems and permanent beds; high tunnel tomatoes and strawberries; irrigation and compost application in high tunnels.
3:00 PM Adjourn


Thank you to our sponsor, the Maine State Pomological Society.

Directions to Highmoor Farm, 52 US Route 202, Monmouth, Maine 04259 (207.933.2100)
Traveling North on I-95: Drive north on the Maine Turnpike (I-95) and take Exit 86 in Sabattus. Turn left onto Route 9/Middle Road. Travel about 2 miles on Route 9 East, then turn left onto Route 132. After 4.5 miles, turn left onto Leeds Junction Road. Travel about 2.8 miles, then turn right onto U.S. Route 202 and travel about 1.3 miles up the road until you see Highmoor Farm on the right.

Traveling South on I-95: Take Exit 109B in Augusta. Continue west on U.S. Route 202 and travel about 15 miles. Highmoor Farm will be on the left.


For more information about this or other workshops, please contact:

Renae Moran, Tree Fruit Specialist
University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Highmoor Farm
P.O. Box 179
Monmouth, ME 04259-0179
Tel. 207.933.2100, ext. 105.
rmoran@maine.edu


Any person with a disability who needs accommodations for this program should contact Pam St. Peter at 207.933.2100, or 1.800.287.8957 (TDD) to discuss any needed arrangements. Receiving requests for accommodations at least 10 days before the program provides a reasonable amount of time to meet the request; however, all requests will be considered.

Strawberry IPM Newsletter No. 6 – June 18, 2015

June 19th, 2015 11:24 AM

StrawberriesStrawberry IPM Newsletter No. 6 – June 18, 2015
Click on photos to enlarge.

STRAWBERRY HARVEST GETS UNDERWAY!

Crop Prediction: Good to Moderate

Situation: Harvest is underway in Southern Maine and more northern areas are soon to follow. We’ve been getting calls on bird damage, but otherwise the pest pressure has been very low in most fields this week. Fruit size, especially on secondary and later fruit appears to be smaller this year, which may be a result of our very dry spring and/or cold winter. Regardless, the overall quality looks good and yields look to also be good, especially in areas that received adequate rain or irrigation during the fruit development period. Our annual strawberry bed renovation issue will be posted in two to three weeks. In the meantime, we hope the information provided by the Strawberry IPM Newsletter has helped you make the best pest management decisions possible for your fields. Happy harvest!

Tarnished plant bug nymphs were only found in one field this week, and populations were below the management threshold. Overall, tarnished plant bug pressure has been very light this spring, and hopefully growers were able to reduce sprays as a result. However, if you are also growing day-neutral strawberries for a late summer and fall crop, begin scouting for tarnished plant bug as soon as the plants begin to flower. Tarnished plant bug populations are at their highest in the late summer, so damage on these fruit can be severe. Often control must occur when both flowers and nearly ripe fruit are present, so select insecticides with short residuals and days to harvest. Some examples include Assail®, Brigade®, Bifenture®, and Dibrom®.

Tarnished Plant Bug on Strawberry

Tarnished Plant Bug on Strawberry Flower, photo by David Handley

Two-spotted Spider Mites

Two-spotted Spider Mites, photo by David Handley

Two-spotted spider mite activity has been low in most fields throughout the season, despite dry conditions, which can promote their development. Mite populations can build up almost anytime, especially in hot, dry, dusty conditions; so growers should continue to scout for mites throughout the summer and be prepared to manage them if they build up after renovation. Spider mites can become a problem on day neutral strawberries in the late summer and fall, so scout these plantings regularly for mites.

Leaf diseases, including powdery mildew, leaf spot and leaf scorch, are at very low levels as we come into harvest. These diseases can pop up anytime during the season, so continue to be on the lookout throughout harvest and following renovation.

Leather rot (Phytopthora cactorum) and Anthracnose fruit rot (Colletotrichum acutatum) can be a problem on day-neutral strawberries ripening during the late summer and fall, especially following heavy rain showers and humid weather. Water splashing on the surface of plastic mulch can lead to the development and rapid spread of these diseases. Fungicides effective for gray mold may not provide control of leather rot and may not be very effective for anthracnose. Aliette®, Agri-Phos® or Phostrol® are recommended for leather rot, while Cabrio® and Pristine® are effective for anthracnose.

Review: Keeping Strawberries Fresh for Market
Strawberries are highly perishable and can fall into decay very rapidly if not handled properly. Train your pickers and sales people regarding how to keep the fruit in the best condition possible all the way from the field to the customers, in order to maintain the best quality and prolong shelf life. Pickers should be careful not to bruise fruit during harvest, and not to put damaged fruit into the containers. All harvested fruit should be cooled immediately to slow respiration. This will greatly extend shelf life and reduce the incidence of post-harvest fruit rots. Strawberries cool most efficiently if harvested early in the morning before they build up any field heat. Place fruit into refrigerated storage quickly and keep it out of direct sunlight. Fruit should be stored at 32° Fahrenheit and 95% relative humidity. Cold air should be moved through the boxes or flats of fruit with a circulating fan and/or exhaust fan to cool most efficiently. Placing a sheet of plastic over the trays in the cooler can reduce moisture build up on the berries. Temperatures lower than 32°Fahrenheit may freeze the fruit and ruin its fresh quality. A small, well-insulated building cooled with air conditioners and fans can provide effective temporary storage for strawberries. If you don’t have refrigeration facilities, keep the fruit as cool as possible by harvesting when air temperatures are cool, and keeping it out of direct sunlight. Transport the fruit to market as quickly as possible, and harvest only what you think you can sell in a day.

Girl with Quarts of Strawberries

Strawberry Harvest, photo by David Handley

Annual Pre-Harvest Checklist for Pick-Your-Own
It’s that time again! As harvest approaches, its time to make sure that your farm is ready to give your customers the best possible picking experience. Take our annual review below to evaluate your customer readiness.

√ A phone message with picking conditions and opening and closing times is regularly updated.

√ Signs to the farm are neat and easy to read.

√ There is easy access to the fields and plenty of parking.

√ Someone is ready to greet customers and offer parking instructions and directions to the field.

√ Access to the field is free of hazards.

√ Transportation is provided for the elderly and disabled.

√ The rules regarding picking are clearly posted.

√ Someone is in the field to show customers where to pick and to answer questions.

√ There are plenty of picking containers available.

√ Clean restroom and hand washing facilities are available.

√ Someone is available to help customers carry fruit out of the field.

√ The checkouts are fast and efficient.

√ Beverages are available.

√ Shade and seats are available for customers wanting to rest.

√ The help are friendly and knowledgeable.

A friendly, clean, and organized atmosphere will leave a lasting impression on your customers, encouraging them to come back and to recommend your farm to their friends.

Other Crops: Some blueberry fields are showing significant winter injury, including dead, dark brown or black shoots, usually at or near the top of the bushes. Pruning out such injury once the plants have started to grow does not appear to help the plants much. However, Phomopsis twig blight often infects blueberry branches through the cold-injured tissue. This fungus disease causes new shoots to suddenly wilt and turn black. Individual branches or canes on the bushes may also turn brown. This is referred to as “flagging”. Infected branches may be pruned out. Sterilize pruners before moving on to another bush to prevent further spreading the fungus. Lime sulfur sprays used prior to leafing out in the spring and some copper materials can help control Phomopsis. See the New England Small Fruit Management Guide for more details.

entrance to Highmoor Farm

Highmoor Farm, photo by Pam St. Peter

Hold the Date! Details Soon!
Highmoor Farm Field Day
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
52 US Route 202, Monmouth, Maine 04259

Sincerely,

David T. Handley
Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist

Highmoor Farm                       Pest Management
P.O. Box 179                             491 College Avenue
Monmouth, ME 04259          Orono, ME 04473
207.933.2100                           1.800.287.0279

Maine Cooperative Extension, the Land Grant University of the state of Maine and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperating. Cooperative Extension and other agencies of the U.S.D.A. provide equal opportunities in programs and employment. A Member of the University of Maine System.

Where brand names or company names are used it is for the reader’s information. No endorsement is implied nor is any discrimination intended against other products with similar ingredients. Always consult product labels for rates, application instructions and safety precautions. Users of these products assume all associated risks.

Strawberry IPM Newsletter No. 5 – June 12, 2015

June 12th, 2015 2:05 PM

StrawberriesStrawberry IPM Newsletter No. 5 – June 12, 2015
Click on photos to enlarge.

STRAWBERRY HARVEST GETTING STARTED IN SOUTHERN MAINE

Insect and Disease Activity Remains Low

Situation: Southern and mid-state fields remain pretty dry, while fields in the more northern and western part of the state have been getting some heavy showers this week. A few ripe berries are being picked in far southern Maine and some of those fields may open for pick-your own early next week. More northern growers are still about a week away. The pest situation remains fairly calm, although the spider mites may soon become more numerous, as should be expected with warm, dry weather.

Strawberry bud weevil or “clipper” activity is showing up on late blooming varieties, but most fields are beyond the full bloom stage. Thus, clipper no longer presents a serious threat. Remember that clippers will move onto raspberry and blackberry plants to lay eggs and clip buds once the strawberries have gone into bloom.

Large Tarnished Plant Bug Nymph

Third Instar Tarnished Plant Bug Nymph, photo by David Handley

Tarnished plant bug activity continues to be very low this week. No fields were found over threshold of 4 or more flower clusters infested per 30 sampled. Tarnished plant bug remains a threat throughout the bloom and petal fall stage, and should be scouted for regularly on the flower clusters and developing fruit. Insecticide options include malathion, Assail®, Brigade®, Bifenture®, Danitol®, and PyGanic®.

Two-spotted spider mite activity remains low in most fields, although one planting in Minot was over threshold with 25% of leaves sampled having mites. Mite populations should be expected to increase if warm dry conditions continue, so keep scouting for them.

Sap beetle on strawberry

Picnic Beetle (left) on Strawberry, photo by James Dill

Sap beetles and picnic beetles are sometimes a problem as we start harvesting berries. The 1/8-inch long, dark brown beetles chew small holes in ripening fruit, similar to slug injury. They may be seen in the holes they’ve chewed into ripe fruit, but often drop to the ground when disturbed. The best management strategy for sap beetles is good sanitation. Keep the field free of overripe fruit by picking often and thoroughly. Insecticide sprays for this pest can be effective, but should be a last resort during the harvest period. Brigade®, Assail®, Dibrom®, and PyGanic® are registered for control of sap beetles with pre-harvest intervals ranging from 12 to 24 hours. Read the product label carefully for this and other application instructions and restrictions.

Entrust® Insecticide May Lose Berry Registration
Dr. Richard Cowles of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station recently shared a letter he received from Dow AgroSciences stating that the registration of Entrust® insecticide (active ingredient spinosad) may be withdrawn by the company due to reports of misuse (primarily overuse) by growers, which could threaten the viability of the product by encouraging the development of insect resistance to it. Entrust® has been a very important tool for the management of spotted wing drosophila (SWD), especially for organic berry growers, as the product is Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) approved. Dr. Cowles states “This is not an idle threat to withdraw sales of Entrust® to New England states.  Abuse of Conserve SC® by greenhouse growers in the Southeast led to widespread flower thrips resistance, whereupon Dow withdrew marketing of that product to that region.  The problem that I see is that there currently are very few effective proven alternative options to spinosad available to organic growers, besides frequent clean harvesting of crops and use of exclusion netting (for certain crops).”

All berry growers should intensively monitor for SWD adult activity with effective traps and baits, and only consider insecticide sprays when both (a) SWD adults are present and (b) fruit are ripening sufficiently to almost be susceptible to egg laying.  The prospect of losing an important tool in the management of SWD emphasizes the importance of following the label directions of pesticides in all regards, including the limitations for use of Entrust® on individual crops and on entire farms, due to concerns for insecticide resistance prevention.

Diseases: For those fields that have received significant rain or overhead irrigation recently, remember that any moisture will stimulate the release of botrytis spores. Late varieties that are still in the bloom stage should be protected with a fungicide spray.

Leaf diseases, including powdery mildew, leaf spot and leaf scorch, have remained at very low levels this week. Fungicide sprays for gray mold often also provide control of foliar diseases. However, it is important to keep an eye out for symptoms in the field, especially following rain, because infections are likely to occur under warm, wet conditions.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery Mildew, photo by David Handley

Angular Leaf Spot

Bacterial Angular Leaf Spot, Photo by David Handley

Leather rot (Phytopthora cactorum) and Anthracnose fruit rot (Colletotrichum acutatum) have been reported this week on ripening day-neutral strawberries grown on black plastic mulch. Warm weather combined with water puddling on the surface of the mulch can lead to the development and rapid spread of these diseases. Fungicides applied for gray mold are generally not effective for leather rot and may not be very effective for anthracnose. Foliar sprays of Aliette®, Agri-Phos® or Phostrol® are recommended for leather rot, while Cabrio® and Pristine® are most effective for anthracnose.

Birds, specifically cedar waxwings will be moving into fields to start feeding on ripe fruit, if they haven’t already. These birds can destroy many of the early ripening fruit, despite our best efforts to scare them off. Only by keeping a near constant presence in the field and eliminating roosting sites can you reduce the damage. Usually, they are discouraged once the fields start to be regularly harvested and customers are present. Songbirds are protected by law and should not be killed. However, permits may be issued for killing birds by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service if they receive a recommendation for such a permit from the Maine Wildlife Services Office (part of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) in Augusta, along with an application from the grower. There is a $50 fee for the application, and it may take over a month for the permit to be processed. However, the permit is good for one year, so if you have problems this season, you may consider applying for a permit this winter, which would allow you an option to kill birds, if necessary, next season. The Wildlife Damage Office has recommendations for managing birds in crops, and also has some control options available through their office. For more information on permits or bird control contact the office in Augusta at 207.629.5181. The office is located in the Capital West Business Center at 79 Leighton Road in Augusta.

Hold the Date!
Highmoor Farm Field Day is on Wednesday, July 22, 2015.

Sincerely,

David T. Handley
Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist

Highmoor Farm                       Pest Management
P.O. Box 179                             491 College Avenue
Monmouth, ME 04259          Orono, ME 04473
207.933.2100                           1.800.287.0279

Maine Cooperative Extension, the Land Grant University of the state of Maine and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperating. Cooperative Extension and other agencies of the U.S.D.A. provide equal opportunities in programs and employment. A Member of the University of Maine System.

Where brand names or company names are used it is for the reader’s information. No endorsement is implied nor is any discrimination intended against other products with similar ingredients. Always consult product labels for rates, application instructions and safety precautions. Users of these products assume all associated risks.

Strawberry IPM Newsletter No. 4 – June 5, 2015

June 5th, 2015 2:37 PM

StrawberriesStrawberry IPM Newsletter No. 4 – June 5, 2015
Click on photos to enlarge.

STRAWBERRY INSECT ACTIVITY LOW

Recent Rains Increase Fungus Disease Risk

Vegetable and Berry Growers Twilight Meeting
Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 5:30 p.m.
Snell Family Farm, 1000 River Road, Buxton, Maine 04093

Situation: Some much needed rain this week should help size up strawberries as we move toward harvest season. A few ripe berries are being reported from day-neutral strawberry beds on plastic mulch this week, but in general it looks as though our season should be about on a “normal” time span this summer. Lots of fields are expected to open around the 19th of June or soon after, in the southern and mid-state regions. The pest situation has remained pretty calm, although the recent rains should put growers on alert for possible fruit rot infections.

Strawberry bud weevil or “clipper” activity has become a bit more prevalent around the state this week, although many fields are now beyond the development stage were clipper can present a serious threat. Only a couple of fields exceeded the threshold (more than 1.2 clipped buds per two feet of row) in later ripening varieties. Raspberry and blackberry growers should be alert. Clipper will also move onto these plants to lay eggs and clip buds once the strawberries have gone into bloom. Brigade® and Sevin® are currently registered to control clipper in bramble crops.

Clipper Beetle on Strawberry Blossom

Clipper Beetle on Strawberry Blossom, photo by David Handley

First Instar Tarnished Plant Bug Nymph

First Instar Tarnished Plant Bug Nymph, photo by David Handley

Tarnished plant bug activity has been very low this week. Several growers have sprayed fields, based on the appearance of nymphs last week, but there have been no fields over threshold in our scouting this week. Tarnished plant bug is a threat throughout the bloom and petal fall stage. Scout regularly for the small, yellow-green nymphs on the flower clusters and developing fruit. The threshold for nymphs is 4 or more flower clusters infested per 30 sampled. Insecticide options include malathion, Assail®, Brigade®, Bifenture®, Danitol®, and PyGanic®.

Two-spotted spider mites: The recent rains and cool temperatures have slowed development of two spotted spider mites this week. Although a couple more fields were found to have mites, only one was over threshold, and this was a field that had been under row covers. Mite populations can increase suddenly if warm dry conditions return, so continue to scout for them regularly.

White grubs: We’ve had a couple more calls this week from growers regarding white grubs feeding on the roots of strawberry plants. These are the larvae of scarab beetles, including Japanese beetles, Asiatic garden beetles and European chafers. Unlike the strawberry root weevil and black vine weevil larvae, these grubs have legs and a swollen back end. White grubs are starting to pupate now, and adults will begin to emerge shortly. A new generation of grubs will appear during the late summer and fall. Soil drenches with Admire Pro® or Platinum® can provide control of grubs in new plantings or following renovation in older plantings. Parasitic nematodes may also be applied. See the New England Small Fruit Management Guide for details.

Slug on Strawberry

Slug on Strawberry, photo by James Dill

Slugs may be a problem in some fields this season; although they tend to be worse in wet springs, especially if they follow a wet fall. Moist conditions and thick mulch tend to encourage the presence of slugs. Slugs usually feed at night, leaving large holes and tunnels in ripening fruit. Baits such as Deadline® and Sluggo® offer some control of slugs, but should be used prior to fruit ripening. Pay close attention to label instructions and precautions. Baits should also be applied to the fields in mid-September if slugs have been a problem, to reduce egg-laying.

Diseases: The recent rains will encourage the release of botrytis spores from overwintering sites (e.g. dead leaves), so fields now in bloom should be protected against infection with a fungicide spray. Although dry conditions earlier have likely saved many growers from having to apply an earlier fungicide spray, typically two to three sprays during the bloom period are needed to provide good protection against the development of gray mold.

Powdery mildew: The recent cool weather seems to have slowed the development of powdery mildew in strawberry fields, although early symptoms are being observed in some fields. Mildew often first appears as purplish blotches or streaks on the leaf and flower stems; but it is often first noticed by the more obvious symptom of an upward curling of the leaves and white, powdery growth on the undersides. Check your fields for leaf cupping now. Some, but not all, of the fungicide products registered for gray mold will also provide control of powdery mildew. Pristine®, Cabrio®, Topsin-M®, captan, Procure®, Torino® and JMS Stylet Oil® are registered to control powdery mildew.

Leaf Spot on Strawberry Plant

Leaf Spot, photo by David Handley

Leaf spot and leaf scorch infections are becoming more apparent in most strawberry fields this week. Some fungicide materials registered for these foliar diseases will also provide control of gray mold, including captan, Topsin-M®, and Pristine®.

Leather rot (Phytopthora cactorum) could be a concern in fields which had long periods of standing water following the recent rains, especially if the fields were not mulched last fall. Fungicides applied for gray mold are generally not effective for leather rot. Foliar sprays of Aliette®, Agri-Phos® or Phostrol® applied during bloom or fruit development can help prevent this disease.

Reminder: Twilight Meeting
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Vegetable and Small Fruit Growers Association will hold a twilight meeting at the Snell Family Farm in Buxton on Thursday, June 11 at 5:30 p.m.  John and Ramona Snell will host a tour of their farmstand, greenhouses and vegetable fields and describe their growing and marketing practices. In addition, we’ll discuss the upcoming season and pest management issues facing vegetable and berry growers this year. We anticipate that one pesticide applicator recertification credit will be awarded for the meeting.

Snell Family Farm is located on Route 112 in Bar Mills (officially 1000 River Road, Buxton, ME 04093). Their phone number is 207.929.6166 and email address is info@snellfamilyfarm.com. Their web address is http://snellfamilyfarm.com/map.html.

DIRECTIONS

From Biddeford and Saco: Follow North Street (Route 112) ten miles north, one mile past Tory Hill.

From Portland: Take Route 22 (Congress Street) west about fifteen miles.  At the first stop sign you come to (where Route 22 veers right) go straight ahead on Portland Road. Cross Route 202 onto 4A by the hardware store across from the funeral home. Turn right on to Route 112.  Go a half mile north on Route 112 to the farm.

From Windham and Gorham: Take Route 202 west into Buxton (go straight through rotary on Route 202).  Turn right onto 4A at the hardware store. Turn right again at the intersection with Route 112.

From Sanford:  Take Route 202 east, turning left at Tory Hill Corner at the intersection with Route 112. Follow Route 112 north one mile to the Snell Farm.

From Standish: Turn on to Route 22 at the four way stop near Bonny Eagle Middle School. Turn right on Route 112 near the Bonny Eagle Shopping Center. Follow Route 112 south along the Saco River until you come to the farm.

Please note that Route 22 veers west and becomes Long Plains Road. Folks driving from Portland should stay straight onto Portland Road.

Sincerely,

David T. Handley
Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist

Highmoor Farm                       Pest Management
P.O. Box 179                             491 College Avenue
Monmouth, ME 04259          Orono, ME 04473
207.933.2100                           1.800.287.0279

Maine Cooperative Extension, the Land Grant University of the state of Maine and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperating. Cooperative Extension and other agencies of the U.S.D.A. provide equal opportunities in programs and employment. A Member of the University of Maine System.

Where brand names or company names are used it is for the reader’s information. No endorsement is implied nor is any discrimination intended against other products with similar ingredients. Always consult product labels for rates, application instructions and safety precautions. Users of these products assume all associated risks.

Growers Twilight Meeting – June 11, 2015

June 2nd, 2015 11:10 AM

GROWERS TWILIGHT MEETING AT SNELL FAMILY FARM

Thursday, June 11, 2015
5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Snell Family Farm, 1000 River Road, Buxton, Maine 04093
Farm Tel. 207.929.6166
Cost:  Free
No registration is required.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Vegetable and Small Fruit Growers Association will hold a twilight meeting at Snell Family Farm in Buxton on Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 5:30 p.m.

Hosts John and Ramona Snell will give a tour of their farmstand, greenhouses and vegetable fields and describe their growing and marketing practices. There will be a discussion of the upcoming season for vegetable and berry growers, and pest management strategies for the season ahead with Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist, David Handley and Vegetable Specialist, Mark Hutton. We anticipate that one pesticide applicator recertification credit will be awarded for attending the meeting.

Snell Family Farm is located on Route 112 in Bar Mills (officially 1000 River Road, Buxton, ME 04093). Their phone numbers are 207.929.6166 and 207.523.9488. Their email address is info@snellfamilyfarm.com. The website address is: http://snellfamilyfarm.com/map.html. Cost for the meeting is free and no registration is required. For more information, please contact David Handley at 207.933.2100 or david.handley@maine.edu. We hope to see you there!

 

Directions

From Biddeford and Saco: follow North Street (Route 112) ten miles north, one mile past Tory Hill.

From Portland: take Route 22 (Congress Street) west about fifteen miles.  At the first stop sign you come to (where Route 22 veers right) go straight ahead on Portland Road. Cross Route 202 onto 4A by the hardware store across from the funeral home. Turn right on to Route 112.  Go a half mile north on Route 112 to the farm.

From Windham and Gorham: take Route 202 west into Buxton (go straight through rotary on Route 202).  Turn right onto 4A at the hardware store. Turn right again at the intersection with Route 112.

From Sanford, take Route 202 east, turning left at Tory Hill Corner at the intersection with Route 112. Follow Route 112 north one mile to the Snell Farm.

From Standish, turn on to Route 22 at the four way stop near Bonny Eagle Middle School. Turn right on Route 112 near the Bonny Eagle Shopping Center. Follow Route 112 south along the Saco River until you come to the farm.

Please note that Route 22 veers West and becomes Long Plains Road. Folks driving from Portland should stay straight onto Portland Road.

Any person with a disability who needs accommodations for this program should contact Pam St. Peter at 207.933.2100 or TDD 1.800.287.8957 to discuss any needed arrangements. Receiving requests for accommodations at least 10 days before the program provides a reasonable amount of time to meet the request; however, all requests will be considered.

The University of Maine is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

 

 

Strawberry IPM Newsletter No. 3 – May 28, 2015

May 29th, 2015 12:05 PM

StrawberriesStrawberry IPM Newsletter No. 3 – May 28, 2015

Click on photos to enlarge.

STRAWBERRY INSECT PESTS NOW ACTIVE

Clippers, Tarnished Plant Bugs and Spider Mites Over Threshold this Week

Vegetable and Berry Growers Twilight Meeting
Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 5:30 p.m.
Snell Family Farm, 1000 River Road, Buxton, Maine 04093

Situation: Broad swings in temperature continue to characterize the weather, from unusually hot days to a surprise freeze in some inland towns last weekend.  Conditions also remain dry, and while that is good for reducing the chance of fungal diseases, the plants will need water soon to help size up the berries. Early varieties are at full bloom or slightly beyond in much of the state, while later varieties are now coming into bloom. Some fields may have experienced frost or freeze damage late last week as night temperatures fell dramatically, in spite of fairly windy conditions.

Strawberry bud weevil or “clipper” activity is increasing in some of the fields we’ve scouted. Clipped buds on later varieties are becoming apparent and were over the threshold (more than 1.2 clipped buds per two feet of row) in one location this week. Scout for clipped buds now in fields just coming into bloom. Once a field is in full bloom, clipper is no longer a significant threat. Insecticide options for clipper include Lorsban®, Brigade®, Bifenture®, Danitol®, Sevin® and PyGanic®.

Clipper Damage on Strawberry Plant

Clipped Flower Buds from Strawberry Clipper, photo by David Handley

Large Tarnished Plant Bug Nymph

Third Instar Tarnished Plant Bug Nymph, photo by David Handley

Tarnished plant bug activity has increased this week. We are now finding the small, yellow-green immature bugs, or nymphs, in the flower clusters. These will feed on the receptacle of the flowers, causing the fruit to have seedy ends, or “catfacing”. The nymphs are very small (2 mm) at this time and can be hard to see. It is important to scout any flowering fields for them now, as they can spread very quickly. The threshold for nymphs is 4 or more flower clusters infested per 30 sampled. Insecticide options for tarnished plant bug include malathion, Assail®, Brigade®, Bifenture®, Danitol®, and PyGanic®.

Two-spotted Spider Mites

Two-spotted Spider Mites, photo by David Handley

Two-spotted spider mites are building up in some fields, which is to be expected when we have extended warm, dry weather. Two fields have been over the control threshold of 25% or more of leaves infested. Mites will reproduce rapidly if warm conditions continue, so it is important to scout for them regularly. Chemical control options for two-spotted spider mites include Acramite®, Savey®, Zeal®, Vendex®, Oberon®, Brigade®, Danitol®, and Thionex®. Be sure to use enough liquid and pressure in the spray to get good coverage on the undersides of the leaves.

Root Weevils:  Two fields with a history of strawberry root weevil problems have had some grub activity this week. Infested plants look weak, and often wilt. There are no chemical controls registered for use within the harvest period at this point. Parasitic nematodes may be applied, but need high moisture conditions to become established and provide effective control. See the New England Small Fruit Management Guide for details.

Strawberry Rootworm Beetle

Strawberry Rootworm Beetle, photo by David Handley

Strawberry rootworm (not root weevil) adults and feeding injury have been found on strawberry leaves in some fields this spring. The adult stage of this insect is a small (1/8”) dark brown beetle. The beetles feed on strawberry leaves during the spring and late summer, causing numerous small holes in the leaves. The adults in fields now will soon lay eggs. The larvae are small grubs that feed on the roots of strawberry plants, causing them to be stunted and weak. If these beetles and/or feeding injury is prevalent in a field, a treatment is recommended. Sevin 50WP® is registered for control of this pest, and sprays targeted at other insect pests at this time may also control rootworm. Avoid spraying insecticides, especially Sevin 50WP®, during bloom, as it is highly toxic to many pollinating insects. Strawberry rootworm should not be confused with root weevil, a larger insect that causes much more serious damage when present in a field.

Spittlebug

Spittlebug, Photo by David Handley

Spittlebugs:  The frothy spittle masses on the leaf and flower stems from spittlebugs usually show up around bloom. Spittlebugs don’t pose a significant threat to the plants, but the spittle masses are a nuisance for pickers. Spittlebugs overwinter as eggs and the nymphs emerge in late May. Scouting for spittlebugs should start when the plants are at 10% bloom. Randomly inspect five, one square foot areas per field every week. Spread the leaves and inspect the crowns, leaf bases, leaf stems, and flower stems looking for the frothy spittle masses. Small, yellow-orange nymphs will be under the spittle. If the average number of spittle masses is more than two per foot, a treatment may be warranted. Spittlebugs tend to be a greater problem in weedy fields. Pesticides currently registered for spittlebug control include Provado®, Thionex®, Danitol® and Brigade®.

Diseases:  Fields in bloom should be protected against infection by spores of the gray mold fungus, Botrytis cinerea. Although the present dry conditions will likely reduce disease pressure this spring, fungicides need to be applied as protectants in case a significant moisture event occurs, causing a sudden release of fungal spores. Registered products include Topsin-M®, captan, Elevate®, Thiram®, Pristine®, Scala® and Switch®.  See the New England Small Fruit Management Guide for details.

Powdery mildew:  This foliar disease is now starting to show up on susceptible varieties. It may first appear as purple or red blotches on the leaf and flower stems. The most prominent symptom is an upward curling of the leaves and white, powdery growth on the undersides. Check your fields for leaf cupping now. Some, but not all, of the fungicide products registered for gray mold will also provide control of powdery mildew. Pristine®, Cabrio®, Topsin-M®, captan, Procure®, Torino® and JMS Stylet Oil® are registered to control powdery mildew.

Leaf spot infections are becoming more common in strawberry fields this week. The spots usually appear on older leaves first, as small purple or red spots with white centers. Leaf scorch may also be seen. The spots are smaller in the case of scorch, and lack the white centers. Spots may coalesce to turn the leaves purple and brown, leading to the death of the leaf and weakening of the plant. Many strawberry varieties have at least partial resistance to leaf spot and leaf scorch. Fungicides registered for leaf spots include captan, Topsin-M®, Cabrio®, and Pristine®.

Grass control in strawberry fields:  Controlling perennial grasses in strawberry beds can be challenging. Poast®, Select 2EC® and Selectmax® 0.97EC are registered to control emerged grasses in strawberries. Often more than one application is needed to obtain satisfactory control. All of these products require the addition of a crop oil concentrate to the spray. It is important to note that these products can cause significant injury to strawberry plants if they are applied on hot, humid days, or if high temperatures occur within one or two days of application. Poast® should not be applied within 7 days of harvest. Select® and Selectmax® should not be applied within 4 days of harvest. Follow all product label instructions.

Reminder: Twilight Meeting
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Vegetable and Small Fruit Growers Association will hold a twilight meeting at the Snell Family Farm, 1000 River Road, Buxton, ME 04093 on Thursday, June 11 at 5:30 p.m. The Snell’s will host a tour of their farmstand, greenhouses and vegetable fields and describe their growing and marketing practices. In addition, we’ll discuss the upcoming season and pest management issues facing vegetable and berry growers this year. We anticipate that one pesticide applicator recertification credit will be awarded for the meeting.

Sincerely,

David T. Handley
Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist

Highmoor Farm                       Pest Management
P.O. Box 179                             491 College Avenue
Monmouth, ME  04259         Orono, ME  04473
207.933.2100                           1.800.287.0279

Maine Cooperative Extension, the Land Grant University of the state of Maine and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperating.  Cooperative Extension and other agencies of the U.S.D.A. provide equal opportunities in programs and employment.  A Member of the University of Maine System.

Where brand names or company names are used it is for the reader’s information.  No endorsement is implied nor is any discrimination intended against other products with similar ingredients.  Always consult product labels for rates, application instructions and safety precautions. Users of these products assume all associated risks.

Strawberry IPM Newsletter No. 2 – May 20, 2015

May 22nd, 2015 10:19 AM

StrawberriesStrawberry IPM Newsletter No. 2 – May 20, 2015

Click on photos to enlarge.

STRAWBERRY PESTS OFF TO A SLOW START

No Clippers, Tarnished Plant Bugs or Spider Mites Over Threshold this Week

Vegetable and Berry Growers Twilight Meeting
Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 5:30 p.m.
Snell’s Family Farm, Buxton, Maine

Situation: It’s too hot, no wait, it’s too cold.   Great swings in temperature have been the feature this spring as we bounce from days in the 80’s to days in the 40’s, but as far as strawberry plant development is concerned most fields are about where they should be for this point in the season.   Early varieties are coming into bloom, while later varieties now have flower buds emerging from the crowns. Some inland locations have had to protect buds from frost, and may have to again over the next week; while more southern and coastal sites have, so far, not had serious frost threats.  The most common complaint among growers is the lack of rain.  While ground water levels are still in good shape for irrigation, dry fields can lead to stressed plants and nutrient deficiencies, which result in poor fruit size and quality. Once the fruit have started to develop, strawberry plants should receive one to two inches of water per week to prevent a rapid decline in fruit size after the first picking.

Twilight Meeting
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Vegetable and Small Fruit Growers Association will hold a twilight meeting at Snell’s Family Farm in Buxton on Thursday, June 11 at 5:30 p.m.  John, Ramona and Carolyn Snell as well as other family members grow mixed vegetables, apples, bedding plants, cut flowers, and raspberries.  They sell their produce at their farmstand and at local farmers markets in addition to operating a large Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. The Snell’s will host a tour of their farmstand, greenhouses and vegetable fields and describe their growing and marketing practices.  In addition, we’ll discuss the upcoming season and pest management issues facing vegetable and berry growers this year.  We anticipate that one pesticide applicator recertification credit will be awarded for the meeting. Hold the date! We’ll give driving directions soon.

Strawberry bud weevil or “clipper” is now active in most of the fields we’ve scouted.  But so far all we have seen is feeding signs on a few open primary flowers, no clipped buds, suggesting that the adults are now just feeding on pollen and mating.  However, they will very soon start laying eggs and girdling flower buds. Given these signs, you should now start looking for clipped buds. Insecticide options for clipper include Lorsban®, Brigade®, Bifenture®, Danitol®, Sevin® and PyGanic®.

Clipper Injury

Clipper Injury, Photo by David Handley

Tarnished Plant Bug Nymph on Strawberry Blossom

Tarnished Plant Bug Nymph on Strawberry Blossom, photo by David Handley

Tarnished plant bug activity has been very low so far this season.  We have had reports of a few adults spotted in the field, but we have not yet found any nymphs, which are the more damaging stage of this insect.  The nymphs can be hard to find, especially if the plants are wet. Young nymphs are very small (2 mm), active, yellow-green insects.  It is important to scout for them regularly, as they can appear very quickly. The threshold for nymphs is 4 or more flower clusters infested per 30 sampled. Start scouting any field with open flowers now.  Insecticide options for tarnished plant bug include malathion, Assail®, Brigade®, Bifenture®, Danitol®, and PyGanic®.

Two-spotted Spider Mites

Two-spotted Spider Mites, photo by David Handley

Two-spotted spider mites have only been found in one location this week.  This is surprising given how dry it has been.  Mites typically proliferate under hot, dry conditions, and we often first find them in plantings under row covers.  But plantings that harbored a high mite population last fall are also likely to see a problem with mites in the spring.  Spider mites will reproduce rapidly under warmer temperatures, so it is important to scout for them regularly. If 25% of leaves sampled (e.g. 15 out of 60) have any mites, a spray should be applied. Chemical control options for two-spotted spider mites include Acramite®, Savey®, Zeal®, Vendex®, Oberon®, Brigade®, Danitol®, Thionex® and JMS Stylet Oil® (oils will cause plant injury if used in combination with captan or within 14 days of an application of sulfur).  Be sure to use enough liquid and pressure in the spray to get good coverage on the undersides of the leaves.

Cyclamen mites:  We have seen two fields with light symptoms of cyclamen mite injury this week.  Infested plants show weak growth and yellow, crinkled leaves. These mites are very small and reside in the crown of the strawberry plant, feeding on the developing leaves and flower buds. They are very hard to see, even with magnification. Portal®, Kelthane® or Thionex® can be effective, but must be applied in lots of water to be sure that the material is carried down into the crowns where these mites reside.   Thionex® will no longer be available for use on strawberries after July of 2016.

Cyclamen Mite Damage on Strawberry Plant

Cyclamen Mite Damage on Strawberry Plant, photo by David Handley

White Grub

White Grub, Photo by David Handley

White grubs:  There have been calls regarding white grubs in turf this week, so we should expect that we may also see injury in strawberry beds.  Infested plants are stunted and often wilt during the heat of the day. These grubs are the larvae of the Japanese beetle, European chafer and Asiatic garden beetle. They have legs and a swollen anterior (rear end).  Admire Pro® can be applied for control of white grubs in the spring.  It should be applied within two hours of irrigation or rainfall to be sure the chemical gets into the root zone, and it requires a 14-day pre- harvest interval.

Diseases:  As the fields come into bloom it is time to protect the flowers against infection by spores of the gray mold fungus, Botrytis cinerea. Fruit infections take place through the flowers, so gray mold control efforts must be focused on the bloom period.  Two to three sprays of fungicide are typically required to provide good protection. The first spray is usually applied at 5-10% bloom, followed by a second application at petal fall.  Additional applications may be applied if there is significant rainfall between or following these two sprays.

Leather rot (Phytopthora cactorum) may become a problem in fields where standing water is common during bloom and fruit development, especially if the fields were not mulched last fall. Incidence of leather rot can be reduced by applying straw mulch between the rows to prevent berries from touching the soil and reducing soil splashing onto the berries.  Foliar sprays of Aliette®, Agri-Phos® or Phostrol® may be applied during bloom and fruit development to prevent leather rot when there has been excess moisture in a field, especially those with a history of this problem.

Powdery mildew:  We have not yet seen symptoms of this fungus disease in fields.  It tends to be more prevalent under warm, humid conditions. It may first appear as purple or red blotches on the leaf and flower stems. Later, upward curling leaves and white, powdery growth on the undersides of the leaves becomes evident. Check your fields for pinkish purple leaf and flower stem lesions as new leaves emerge. Pristine®, Cabrio®, Topsin-M®, captan, Procure®, Torino® and JMS Stylet Oil® are registered to control powdery mildew.

Angular Leaf Spot

Bacterial Angular Leaf Spot, Photo by David Handley

Angular leaf spot is a bacterial disease characterized by small water-soaked spots on the leaves, which may turn yellow or black. The symptoms start on the lower leaves but spread throughout the foliage when spores are splashed up by rain or irrigation water. Infections can cause blackening of the berry stems and caps. This disease is favored by extended cool, wet weather with night temperatures close to freezing. Irrigating fields for frost protection encourages development and spread of the disease. Hydrogen dioxide (OxiDate®) may have some activity against angular leaf spot when used on strawberries as part of a gray mold management program.

Sincerely,

David T. Handley
Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist

Highmoor Farm                       Pest Management
P.O. Box 179                             491 College Avenue
Monmouth, ME  04259         Orono, ME  04473
207.933.2100                           1.800.287.0279

Maine Cooperative Extension, the Land Grant University of the state of Maine and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperating.  Cooperative Extension and other agencies of the U.S.D.A. provide equal opportunities in programs and employment.  A Member of the University of Maine System.

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Learn to Preserve the Harvest with UMaine Extension

May 20th, 2015 8:00 AM

Enjoy the taste of summer fruits and vegetables all throughout the year by taking the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Preserving the Harvest workshop 5:30–8:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 23 at UMaine Regional Learning Center, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth.

The workshop, led by UMaine Extension staff members, includes hands-on, USDA-recommended food preservation methods. Participants will preserve low-sugar strawberry jam and learn basics of hot water bath canning and freezing to preserve pickles, jam and vegetables. Fresh produce, canning jars and other equipment will be provided. Participants should bring a pot holder.

Cost is $20 per person; partial scholarships are available. Register online by June 19. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, call 781.6099, 800.287.1471 (toll-free in Maine).