4.06.12 The 2012 Mummy Berry Season Is Here
By Seanna Annis
Lincoln, Knox, Waldo and South Hancock Counties
Plants have buds at the susceptible stage in Appleton and Ellsworth. Both sites were very close to over 40% of their flower buds at F2 (crown stage, see the previous forecast for pictures) on Tuesday, April 3 so they are likely at that stage now.
Mummy berry cups were found in a wet field in Liberty on Thursday, April 5. They have not yet been found in drier fields in Appleton and near Ellsworth as of Friday, April 6. IF you have a field with wet, heavier soil in the above counties, you may have mummy berry cups present in your fields. I suspect most drier fields will not have cups yet.
Some areas in these counties are predicted to get a frost on the night of Saturday, April 7.
Maine is forecasted to get rain/snow showers from Saturday night through Monday and maybe beyond into Tuesday. The weather conditions may have enough rain and warm enough temperatures to cause infection periods in fields with wet, heavy soil and a history of mummy berry disease. The plants in your field would also need to have over 40% of the stems with susceptible flower buds (see the previous forecast for information on how to calculate this) for applications of fungicides to be cost-effective. Unless your fields have these conditions, I am not recommending applications of fungicides yet in these areas.
If you apply fungicides, please follow recommendations in the Fact Sheet 219 – Disease Control Guide for Wild Blueberries.
The rain and snow are likely to start the mummy berry germination even in dry fields, so I expect cups in these areas by the end of next week.
Northern Hancock and Washington Counties
No mummy berry cups have been seen in plots examined in these areas.
The plants are just getting to F1 (bud break) and only the very earliest fields have flowers at F2 (crown stage). The rain and snow this weekend will provide moisture for germination of mummy berries. If the weather is warm, cups may start to appear in early fields this coming week.
I will update this forecast on Monday, April 9.