UGA Extension Specialist: Fruit Farmers Not Out of the Woods Yet

Jim Rogers Peaches, Strawberry, Weather

By Clint Thompson Southeast strawberry and peach producers weathered the latest freeze event on March 13. However, they are not out of the woods yet. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Fruit Disease Specialist Phil Brannen says growers are yearning for warm temperatures and dry conditions over the next month. “We’ve got another full month before we’re out of the woods …

Little Impact from Neopestalotiopsis Fruit Rot This Season for Florida Strawberry Growers

Jim Rogers Disease, Florida, Strawberry

By Clint Thompson A calm disease year for Florida’s strawberry growers meant fewer instances of Neopestalotiopsis Fruit Rot disease. After the previous couple of seasons, producers welcomed the break, says Natalia Peres, professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Florida/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center. “It’s been pretty quiet with few exceptions from growers that got plants that …

Strawberry Plants at Risk During Cold Weekend

Jim Rogers Strawberry, Weather

North Carolina State Extension cautions strawberry growers in the Southeast about sub-freezing temperatures this weekend that will impact the state’s crop. “While plants in the mid-Atlantic are still under covers and the crop in western North Carolina is not as advanced, especially growers in Georgia, South Carolina and eastern North Carolina will have to watch out to protect possible blooms …

Decreased Disease Pressure for Florida Strawberry Growers

Jim Rogers Florida, Research, Strawberry

By Clint Thompson Of all the challenges that Florida strawberry growers had to overcome this year, it appears that disease pressure was not a major threat. Natalia Peres, professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Florida/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, confirmed that normal diseases have not been as prevalent in most fields this season. Weather conditions favored …

Thermotherapy for Production of Nematode-Free Plant Material

Jim Rogers Disease, Research, Strawberry

By Johan Desaeger Producing nematode-free plant material is one of the most important steps in nematode management. Many nematodes can hide in plant material such as tubers, bulbs, roots, cuttings and seed. The seed gall nematode (Anguina tritici), a seedborne pest infecting seed heads in wheat and rye, was the first plant-parasitic nematode ever to be described (by Needham in …

Florida Farmer: Strawberry Market in Shambles

Jim Rogers Agri-business, Florida, Strawberry

By Clint Thompson The strawberry season is nearing an end for Florida growers. To say that producers have had their share of challenges would be an understatement. Input costs have spiraled out of control, and the strawberry market is in “shambles,” according to Matt Parke, farm manager of Parkesdale Farms in Plant City, Florida. “As an industry, I think we’re …

Integrated Pest Management of Chilli Thrips in Strawberries

Jim Rogers Disease, Florida, Research, Strawberry

By Sriyanka Lahiri Currently, strawberry production in Florida is particularly susceptible to infestation by chilli thrips (Scirtothrips dorsalis). Although chilli thrips had been reported as a pest of ornamentals in Florida before, it wasn’t until 2015 when strawberry fields started to be severely impacted by this invasive pest. CHEMICAL CONTROLSChemical control is the predominant tool to manage chilli thrips. However, …

Neopestalotiopsis Discovered in Alabama

Jim Rogers Alabama, Disease, Strawberry

The strawberry disease that has impacted Florida production since 2017 and also Georgia’s crop has finally been discovered on plants in South Alabama. The first report of Neopestalotiopsis leaf spot disease was confirmed recently, according to Alabama Extension. Kassie Conner, Alabama Extension Specialist II, said the disease appears to have traveled in on the transplants. The disease is important to …