4.23.15 Mummy Berry Season for 2015 is Getting Close

Growers in Liberty and Ellsworth have reported seeing pinheads in their mummy berry plots.  The fungus is getting started before the plants this year. The plants are still not open or just getting started with only the very earliest clones being reported at F2 so far.  With the warmer weather, flower buds will be getting started soon. If you have a mummy berry patch in Knox, Lincoln, Waldo or Hancock counties, now is the time to start monitoring it.

Monitor your plants to determine when they will become susceptible to the fungus.  You monitor the plants by checking the percentage of flower buds on 20 preferably, but ten minimum stems across your field.  You should count all of the flower buds on a random stem paced across your field.  I usually go at least 20 paces and then randomly pick a stem.  You do not need to cut the stem, just count the different stages of the flower buds (Fact Sheet 216 – Flower Primordia Development Stage).   The percentage of F1 and F2 buds will give you an indication of how your plants are developing.  Once you have 40% or over of your flower buds at the F2 stage (crown stage) then you have enough plant tissue that an infection of the mummy berry fungus could be harmful.

I am still looking for more grower cooperators to tell me how their plants are progressing and if they have a mummy berry patch, how that is doing as well.  If you do check your plants or mummy berry patch, please give me a call or send me an email on how they are progressing.

We have weather stations up in Dresden Mills and West Rockport as of today.  We hope to have the rest in place in the next two weeks.

If you wish to receive these posts via email and are not currently doing so, please send your address to me at sannis@maine.edu.

Seanna Annis, 1.800.897.0757 (Maine only) or 207.581.2621.