Blueberry Fruit fly and other reminders

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

I've been getting some reports of large numbers of fruit flies on traps in Cumberland county, with it being more sporadic in central and eastern parts of the province.  Things are behind normal but we should be checking traps now!!
Also, now is the time to be putting leaf rust sprays on your sprout fields, to protect against leaf rust infection and allow your leaves to stay on the plant longer into the fall.

Check the production guide for available control options https://www.perennia.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/wild-blueberry2019.pdf

(Remember always check with your buyer to see what is allowable for their markets)

It has been a strange year and harvest looks like it might be starting later than normal.  Monitoring for SWD is something to not forget about, as we get closer to harvest.  SWD hasn't been a huge issue in Nova Scotia over the last several years, but one lesson we can learn from the last two years, is to not count on mother nature, we need to keep an eye on what is happening in our fields.  https://www.perennia.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/monitoring-for-spotted-wing-drosophila.pdf

Good Pollination Weather Ahead

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The weather looks to be quite good for pollination over the next week or so.  High teens to low twenties in most areas.  This should allow for good pollination success as we are moving into full bloom in most areas! Note: this may mean we move through bloom quickly, as there doesn't appear to be any "cold" days that will slow down development.

From a Botrytis management standpoint, we are expecting rain over night tonight and then again over night on Thursday into Friday. With the relatively warm conditions and wet bloom, it does make sense to make an application in areas prone to the disease. Remember treatments should be applied prior to the infection period (wet period).

For most areas of Nova Scotia, a single application in early bloom should be sufficient to keep Botrytis pressure low through bloom.  In areas with traditionally high pressure for Botrytis, a second application may be warranted 7-10 days after the first application. Note: this 2nd application only needs to be made if wet conditions are persisting through bloom.

This is the last regular blight line update for 2019, but I will continue to update the blog and the phone line periodically as issues arise.

Sunny and warm, finally!!

Friday, June 7, 2019

There looks to be a warm sunny period from Friday through to Tuesday.  This should push flower development and pollination should start in many areas.

If you are considering a Botrytis control, some consideration should be given to making and application prior to the next wet period, which is likely through the day on Tuesday.  With the wet conditions we have had, it is likely botrytis pressure will be high in areas prone to this disease.

Just a reminder, the 2019 pest management guide is on the Perennia website.  Click on the link to take a peak https://www.perennia.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/wild-blueberry2019.pdf

Always, check with your buyer to see what is allowable for their markets!!

Of note:  We are starting to see Monilinia symptoms showing up from infections that occurred 3+ weeks ago. The picture below is from a trial site in a field in Mt. Thom


Bloom time disease risk

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

We are slowly moving into bloom, but most fields have not reached 20% open flower yet.  If only a small amount of bloom is open, it is too early to make a Botrytis application.

Botrytis products, like Luna Tranquility, Switch etc. need to be applied prior to an infection. No registered products for this disease can be counted on for any post infection control.

The forecast is calling for significant rain on Wednesday night into Thursday.  If your fields are still in very early bloom at that point a control is not required.

Botrytis risk is highest in fields with constant dampness (ie. coastal fields, or areas with regular fog).  Also fields, or sections of fields, that are protected from wind, or early morning sun can have increased pressure.  Tall dense canopies also create environments for this disease to thrive.

If we get significant rain through mid bloom this will also create a situation for higher disease risk.  Keep an eye on bloom development and the weather.

The next update will be on Friday, June 7th in the late afternoon.

11th Monilinia Update for Nova Scotia

Friday, May 31, 2019

We saw our first open cups on May 3rd, from a naturally occurring population of mummy berries in central Cumberland county, not a monitoring site. So Monilinia has been leasing spores, in most areas of mainland Nova Scotia, for close to 4 weeks now.  Peak spore release has long since past in most regions with the exception of very late fields in Cape Breton

Controls for Monilinia from this point forward are unlikely to give you an economic return in most areas of Mainland Nova Scotia. Disease risk is decreasing.

Focus should now be turned to bloom time diseases like Botrytis.

As bloom progresses, I will update on Botrytis risk.

The next update will be on Tuesday, June 4th.

10th Monilinia update for Nova Scotia

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

This year, it is very hard to give general statements about plant development stage and susceptibility to Monilinia infection.  I am seeing delayed and uneven development across the province. Some fields in Cape Breton are just approaching 40% F2 while some fields in Central NS reached that stage 3 weeks ago. 

However, we are approaching the end of Monilinia season for much of the province, as infection risk is decreasing, particularly for typically early fields.  We received much less rain than forecasted today and the amounts forecasted for the rest of the week are quite low.  If the forecast holds and temperatures stay in the mid teens, much of the monilinia risk will be gone by the weekend in mainland Nova Scotia.

That being said, if you have fields, in small micro-climates, that are still in early fruit bud development stages, risk of monilinia infection could still be high for those areas.

I expect by next week we will be in early bloom, in many areas, and farms will need to consider controls for botrytis in areas prone to that disease.

The next update will be on Friday, May 31st.

9th Monilinia Update for Nova Scotia

Friday, May 24, 2019

It has been a challenging spring to say the least, wind, rain and cold conditions have made pest control and the timing of pest control a challenge.


I took some bud counts on high inland fields over the last two days and those fields are well over 50% F2.  With the exception of a few late fields in Cape Breton, all fields are beyond the threshold stage. 

Given the cool damp conditions and the slowed development of the fields, we can assume apothecia cups are still producing spores in most fields.  For much of central Cumberland and Colchester we are approaching the end of Monilinia risk for the season, but we are not there yet. We need heat to dry up the cups and to push floral development along. We are still likely 5 days away from significant bloom appearing.

If you have not put on a product to control Monilina yet, now is the time.

Based on growing degree model tracking (using base 0)  Debert is about 5 days behind last year from a heat accumulation standpoint.  We should be just starting to see plants pop through the ground in sprout fields.


Reminder:  Twilight meetings are a go next week

May 27 - Millen Farms, Little Dyke (5:00 pm start)
May 28 - John Cameron's Receiving Shed, East River St. Mary's (5:00 pm start)
May 30 - Art Sargent's Receiving Shed, Parrsboro (5:00 pm start)

The next update will be mid-day on Tuesday, May 28th