Exobasidium and Rust Management in Blueberries

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Phillip Brannen

Phillip Brannen, an Extension plant pathologist with the University of Georgia, recently discussed exobasidium and rust management in blueberries.

Exobasidium is a relatively new fungal disease in blueberries. It will first appear in the spring as light green spots on the leaves. The disease will be evident on the fruit once it changes color. The spots on the fruit will be green, unripe and possibly sunken.

Brannen and his colleagues have developed a spray program to control exobasidium. The program includes applying a calcium polysulfide, such as a lime sulfur, then using captan applications during the bloom.

Brannen warned that oil-type sprays can increase the chances of plants being infected by exobasidium.  “If anybody’s actually using an oil on their blueberries, they need to be aware they’re actually increasing their chances of having significant exobasidium disease, and they need to spray for exobasidium accordingly,” he advised.

Regarding rust management, Brannen said over the last year he has found that Proline fungicide is a significantly better rust management material compared to others he has tested. He highly recommends Proline fungicide for rust management and added that it is also the best material for mummy berry control.

Listen to the interview below.

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