Skip Navigation
Return to Layout View | Home | A-Z Directory | my UMaine | MaineStreet | Campus Map | Calendar | Apply | Give Now | Emergency
Follow UMaine on Twitter | Join UMaine on Facebook | Watch UMaine on YouTube | Admissions | Parents & Family |

Cooperative Extension: Maine Wild Blueberries


Site Navigation:


Time to put out mummy berry plots for 2019!

Now is the time to collect mummy berries to put out your own plot.  It is easy to set out plots and it will provide you valuable information next spring on when the fungus is active in your field.  You will need to look at the plot in the spring about 2 times a week.

1. Collect about 60 to 150 mummy berries (20 to 50 for each mummy berry plot) from your crop field(s) near  harvest (or from the process line or winnow piles if you have them). The mummy berries will be whitish grey and smaller than the berries.   If you see a few mummies still on a plant, there are probably more underneath that plant.   Often clones produce different amount of mummy berries, so if there are no mummy berries in one spot, try another area in your field. Often there are more mummy berries at the edges of fields. As soon as possible after you have collected the mummy berries, put them out in the field you will be monitoring. Do not store them in the fridge or in a hot place before you put them out.  If you have to store them, the best way is in a paper bag in the shade or cool spot and to put them out as soon as you can. 
 
 
2.Find 3 good locations.    In next year’s crop field, choose 3 areas within your blueberry field. I suggest 3 areas because some years  one of our plots has not worked in a field.  Each area should be about 3” by 3” that is clear of stems but among the plants. Choose areas that look like they have damp soil most of the time AND will be easy for you to access next spring. These areas do not need to be widely spread around the field, 5 to 10 ft between each one will be fine. If you have different exposures, soil types or large shaded areas in your field you may want to place your mummy berry plots around your field to get the full range of when the mummy berries develop. The areas should not be on slopes where the mummy berries will be washed away, in hollows where they will be water-logged or in areas with lots of frost-heaves.
 
3. Place the mummies in the plots.  In each 3″ by 3″ area, clear off the leaf litter to one side and scrape off about 1/4” of hard packed soil and put aside. Place about 20 to 50 mummy berries on the surface of the soil and press the mummy berries firmly into the soil (with your fingers or step on them).  The mummy berries need to be buried in soil but not more than 1/4” deep at most.  Cover the mummy berries with a small amount of dirt (1/4”) on top and press them firmly down again. You should just have the mummy berries covered with soil. Replace the leaf litter over the mummy berries again.

4. VERY IMPORTANT: Stake or flag the plots on either side so you can locate them in the spring.  Two stakes or flags makes it much easier to figure out where to look in the spring.

We are looking for growers who are willing to check their mummy berry plots twice a week and report to me on the development of the mummy berry cups. We want to place our weather stations in fields with monitored mummy berry plots next year. Please let me know if you would be willing to put out a mummy berry plot and have a weather station in your field.

If you want to put out a plot and want some help setting it up, we can give you a hand.  Please contact Seanna Annis at 207-581-2621 , sannis@maine.edu  or Rachael Martin at 207-581-2629,  Rachael.Martin@maine.edu if you need any help or have any questions. 

Image Description: mummy berry

Image Description: 50 mummy berries before being covered by soil; 3 inches

Frost event in Washington County June 3 to June 4th, 2018

Temperatures dropped into the 30s F in many fields last night and below freezing in some, see table below.  These cold temperatures may damage flowers.  If you wish to see the temperatures for the weather station closest to your field, please go to the following website.  You can click on the graphs on the top to see air temperature (graphs for individual weather stations are not working) or you can download the data  for an individual weather station with the options on the top left of the page.

Weather Station data link

Location                              

Start of POSSIBLE frost event June 3 to June 4th

Deblois below 32F from 9:50pm to 3am, lowest temp 25.7F
Montegail below 32F after 11:20am to approx. 12:50am, lowest recorded 31.5F (missing records)
Jonesboro station not working
Whiting/E. Machias lowest 2:10am 33.7F
Cooper lowest 32.7 approx. 12am to 1am.
Crawford below 32F from 11:40pm to 1:40am, lowest 29.5F

Mummy berry season probably done for 2018

The last reports I had of new cups and pinheads was last Tuesday in Whiting/East Machias and most places reported no new pinheads or drying up cups later in the week through the barrens.  I think with the warm weather we have had after the weekend we are probably finished with mummy berry infection this year.

You will start to see disease symptoms of dead tissues with gray powdery spore masses on some of your leaves and flowers, but hopefully not much. Remember both flowers and leaves are killed with mummy berry.  The other major killer of flowers is Botrytis this time of year.  Botrytis is identifiable by its black “hairs” with gray spores at the tips of the hairs.

If you have any questions, please contact me. Seanna Annis  sannis@maine.edu or the blueberry hotline in Maine at 1-800-897-0757 Ext. 3. 

 

Possible mummy berry infection period in later fields, May 19 to 20, 2018

Washington County

Cups are probably dried up in most areas, except in later fields.  If you have a late field, your field may have experienced an infection period overnight. Please see table below.

Please let me know if you you still have cups. You can email me (Seanna Annis) at sannis@maine.edu or call me at the blueberry hotline 1-800-897-0757. 

Location                              

Start of POSSIBLE infection period on Saturday May 19th

(Ended on May 20th)

Deblois 8:40pm
Montegail 7:30pm
Jonesboro 7:15pm
Whiting/E. Machias 7:30pm
Cooper 8:10pm
Crawford 8:10pm

If you applied fungicide about 7 days before the start of this infection period, your plants were protected during this infection period. 

If you have not applied fungicide and want to apply fungicide with some kickback activity, you have approximately 72 hours from the start of the infection period to do so.

Possible frost event May 18th to May 19th, 2018

Midcoast region, Knox, Waldo and York counties

None of the weather stations had temperatures below 32F last night.

Hancock and Washington Counties

Most weather stations did have temperatures below 32F last night.  Some fields  may have had flower damage from frost depending upon how open the flowers were and the cold hardiness of the clones. 

In late fields, there will also likely to be a  mummy berry infection period from Saturday to Sunday this weekend overnight. 

Location                              

Start of period          below 32F

on May 19th

End of period below 32F           

Lowest temperature recorded

Aurora 2:10am 6am 29.6F
N. Ellsworth 3:40am 5:50am 30.3F
Eastbrook 2:20am 5:40am 30.8F
Deblois 5/18 11:20pm 5:50am 24.4F
Montegail 2:10am 5:40am 29F
Jonesboro none    
Whiting/E. Machias two periods 5/18 11:30pm to 2:10am 3:30am to 5:30am 29.6F
Cooper 4:30am 5:10am 31.5F
Crawford 2am 5:40am 28.6F

Time to start looking for Botrytis blossom blight in your fields

Botrytis

Time to start looking for Botrytis in your fields.  Botrytis kills almost open (pink stage)  and open flowers. There may be only a few flowers in a cluster or a few clusters of flowers on a stem that are infected.  The characteristic sign of the fungus is black hairs (often with gray spore masses at their tips) sticking out from the dead flowers. Please see pictures below.  You many need to use a magnifying glass to the see the hairs on the flowers.   Flowers will also die from mummy berry disease, but those dead flowers do not have any hairs and often die before they open.

 

 

 

 

Where Botrytis infection is found in a given year is highly variable and dependent upon local conditions in the field.  Botrytis can attack multiple plants and so levels of disease in a field depend on how much Botrytis is occurring on other plants in the field and surrounding it. In most fields,  the amount of disease varies every year.  Fields with very heavy damage in a crop field one crop cycle may have none or very little infection 2 years later. Whether this fungus is a problem can be detected by looking for Botrytis infection in early blooming clones from which the fungus can then be spread to other clones if there is enough wet weather.    I do not recommend protective fungicide sprays for Botrytis unless you are absolutely sure you have symptoms in your field and a lot of wet weather is forecast for your field during bloom.   Spraying fungicides during bloom should be avoided if at all possible.

Seanna Annis

Image Description: Dead blueberry flowers killed by Botrytis showing characteristic black "hairs" with gray spores

Image Description: Botrytis infection of flowers showing short "hairs"

Mummy berry infection period May 16th to May 17th, 2018

Midcoast region, Knox, Waldo and York counties

All reports are the cups are dried up in this area. 

Hancock County

North Ellworth and Aurora did not have any cups.  There may still be cups in the  Franklin area.  If you have a late field, you may have experienced an infection period. 

Downeast

Cups are drying up in many mummy berry plots but active cups are still in some areas of the large barrens and are reported in Whiting/East Machias.  Infection periods  may have occurred in some areas overnight.  Hopefully the rain this weekend will be the last infection periods for most people. 

Please let me know if you you still have cups. You can email me (Seanna Annis) at sannis@maine.edu or call me at the blueberry hotline 1-800-897-0757. 

Location                              

Start of infection period on Wednesday May 16th

(Ended on May 17th)

Waldoboro      finished
West Rockport finished
Hope finished
Searsport finished
Monteville finished
Aurora none and cups dried up?
N. Ellsworth 12:40pm
Sedgwick not working
Eastbrook 5:10pm
Deblois none
Montegail 11:10pm
Jonesboro 10:15pm
Whiting/E. Machias 6:30pm
Cooper 12:20pm
Crawford 11:40pm

If you applied fungicide about 7 days before the start of this infection period, your plants were protected during this infection period. 

If you have not applied fungicide and want to apply fungicide with some kickback activity, you have approximately 72 hours from the start of the infection period to do so.

Mummy berry infection for Tues. May 15th to Wed. May 16th, 2018

Midcoast region

Unless you have a really late field, the mummy berry cups are probably not active in your area.  If you have a late field, you may have experienced an infection period. 

Downeast

Infection periods  occurred in most areas from  Tuesday to Wednesday (today).  Reports are cups are drying up in many areas but I think they are still active in most fields.

Please let me know if you you still have cups. You can email me (Seanna Annis) at sannis@maine.edu or call me at the blueberry hotline 1-800-897-0757. 

Location                              

Start of infection period on Tuesday May 15th

(Ended on May 16th)

Waldoboro      gone by
West Rockport gone by
Hope 12:30pm, cups maybe done
Searsport 12:30pm, cups maybe done
Monteville 11:50am, cups?
Aurora 12pm
N. Ellsworth 12:40pm
Sedgwick not working
Eastbrook 1:10pm
Deblois 1:10pm
Montegail 1pm
Jonesboro 1pm
Whiting/E. Machias 3:10pm
Cooper 7:20pm
Crawford 4:10pm

If you applied fungicide about 7 days before the start of this infection period, your plants were protected during this infection period. 

If you have not applied fungicide and want to apply fungicide with some kickback activity, you have approximately 72 hours from the start of the infection period to do so.

Mummy berry infection May 14th to May 15th, 2018

Midcoast region

Cups are probably dying off.  If you have a late field, you may have experienced an infection period. 

Downeast

Infection periods  occurred in most areas last night and we are likely to have another today.

Please let me know if you you still have cups. You can email me (Seanna Annis) at sannis@maine.edu or call me at the blueberry hotline 1-800-897-0757. 

Location                              

Start of infection period on Monday 14th

(Ended on May 15th)

Waldoboro      7:50pm
West Rockport 6:20pm
Hope 8:50pm
Searsport 8pm
Monteville 7:30pm
Aurora 9:00pm
N. Ellsworth 6:40pm
Sedgwick not working
Eastbrook 8pm
Deblois No, too short
Montegail 7:10pm
Jonesboro 11:15pm, close to long enough
Whiting/E. Machias May 15th 12:10am
Cooper 7pm
Crawford 7:50pm

If you applied fungicide about 7 days before the start of this infection period, your plants were protected during this infection period. 

If you have not applied fungicide and want to apply fungicide with some kickback activity, you have approximately 72 hours from the start of the infection period to do so.

 

Mummy berry infection periods from May 12th to May 14th, 2018

Midcoast region

On Friday we have reports that cups were dried up in Waldoboro, but still present in Hope and Appleton areas.  I suspect cups were active in areas over the weekend but are on their way out. There  were conditions in some fields for infection periods over the weekend.  Please see table below.

Downeast

We are still in the midst of mummy berry season and some fields had infection periods over the weekend. Please see table below.

Please let me know if you you still have cups. You can email me (Seanna Annis) at sannis@maine.edu or call me at the blueberry hotline 1-800-897-0757. 

Location                              

Start of infection period on Saturday May 12th

(Ended on May 13th)

Start of infection period on Sunday May 13th

(ended on May 14th)

Waldoboro      8:20pm No
West Rockport 7:30pm 7:10pm
Hope No No
Searsport No 7:50pm
Monteville 8:40pm 7:30pm
Aurora No No
N. Ellsworth 9:20pm 7:30pm
Sedgwick not working  
Eastbrook 11:10pm 7:30pm
Deblois No, too cold No
Montegail No, too cold No
Jonesboro No No
Whiting/E. Machias No 7:50pm
Cooper No 8pm
Crawford No 8:10pm

If you applied fungicide about 7 days before one of these infection periods, your plants were protected during this infection period. 

If you have not applied fungicide and want to apply fungicide with some kickback activity, you have approximately 72 hours from the start of the infection period to do so.

Fungicides with some kickback activity include: Propimax, Bumper, Orbit, Tilt for example (containing propiconazole) or Indar (containing fenbuconazole).  Please see the 2018 Fungicide recommendations  and check with your buyer before applying any fungicides to your crop.


Sidebar

YouTube logo
Wild Blueberry Videos

University of Maine Cooperative Extension


Contact Information

Cooperative Extension: Maine Wild Blueberries
5741 Libby Hall
Orono, Maine 04469-5741
Phone: 207.581.3188 or 800.287.0274 (in Maine)E-mail: extension@maine.edu
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1110
A Member of the University of Maine System