By Clint Thompson
Georgia’s strawberry crop emerged unscathed last week amid low temperatures, according to Jeff Cook, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for Peach and Taylor counties.
“Everything looks fine. Nothing really got burnt. It doesn’t even look like anything happened,” Cook said. He discussed what growers should be mindful of right now at this point in the growing season.
“Most of (the growers) that are calling me now are asking about a fungicide application post planting. The only thing that I’m recommending is something through the drip for phytophthora; either Orondis or Ridomil or Ultra Flourish. Then if they want to put a fungicide for leaf spot or something, go with Captan or Thiram.”
According to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, phytophthora crown rot, caused mainly by Phytophthora cactorum, can cause sudden wilting of plants in fields. It also produces oospores that persist in soils and plant debris.
Fortunately, with proper management, phytophthora is not a huge concern for Georgia’s strawberry growers every season.
“We deal with it. We apply stuff through the drip for it, and we don’t usually see anything significant as far as losses. It’s just something we do routinely just because it’s out there,” Cook said.