Mummy Berry Forecast Post #7– May 25th, 2022

Thursday, May 26, 2022

 Monilinia blight infection symptoms from this year

As I mentioned last week, we are expecting to see monilinia blight symptoms this week as the crop moves into bloom.  

These symptoms are from untreated Bluegold which is a fairly susceptible variety.  

We observed symptoms on both leaves ( pictures 1 and 2) and flowers (picture 3). 

This blighted tissue will produce conidia, which will be moved to flowers by pollinators, wind and rain.  This secondary infection is very difficult to control, with fungicides, which is why we emphasize the timing and application of fungicides for the primary infection. This dying tissue is attractive to pollinators and under favourable conditions magnifys the amount of disease in the block. 

Over the coming  weeks, as the fruit develops, I'd expect to see fruit infections show up and I hope to bring you updates on the disease development. 

On an unrelated note:   Jeff Franklin from AAFC points out that Kentville is experiencing “drier than average conditions so far this May  we have received only 26.5mm of rain in May compared to the 10-year average of 69.3mm (for the entire month of May). As a comparison, in 2021 we had 106.0mm of rain in May.”      Growers should be monitoring soil moisture earlier this year, usually it may not be on our minds to irrigate in May.  I am noting many nutrient deficiencies showing up in a number of berry crops and this may be a result of increased demand from the plant as the crop moves from a vegetative to a reproductive phase but also the drier than expected conditions.    The other thing I’m noting is that some of the residual herbicides have not had an “activating rain” and some weeds have broken through.   Depending on the herbicide product and the size of the weeds, the herbicide may be able to take these small weeds down if rain comes on the weekend.

Many thanks to Jeff Franklin for compiling the weather data and calculating the Growing Degree Days below.