OSU Extension Fruit & Vegetable Report – June 17th, 2024

This edition of the OSU Extension Fruit & Vegetable Report was created using field observations and expertise from the following OSU Extension staff: Mark Badertscher, Frank Becker, Thomas Becker, Ed Brown, Chris Galbraith, Melanie Ivey, Matt Kleinhenz, Ashley Leach, Logan Minter, Gigi Neal, Sabrina Schirtzinger, Ryan Slaughter


A common trend this spring is the delayed planting in many parts of the state due to consistent rainfall that held up field work. Transplants that have been held onto for too long may become rootbound and stressed, exacerbating transplant shock and generally delaying growth and development. With that said, conditions have been dry in other parts of the state such as SE Ohio and could benefit from more rain at this point.

Cucumber beetles are out feeding and bacterial wilt was reported in southern Ohio. Cucumber beetles thresholds are lower for younger plants because of the outsized risk of lethal infection. Seed treatments have been the go-to solution and they seem to be handling pressure well so far this season where they were used. Squash bugs have also emerged and are active. 

Bacterial wilt of cucurbits. Photo by Jim Jasinski, OSU Extension, Bugwood.org

 Flea beetles are feeding in cole crops. Imported cabbageworm and cabbage maggot feeding is severe in some brassica plantings. Heavy imported cabbageworm pressure has been observed in western Ohio.

Severely stunted growth can be an above-ground symptom of cabbage maggot root feeding. Photo by Chris Galbraith, OSU Extension. 

Severe Colorado potato beetle defoliation is being seen in eggplant and potatoes. Some growers have found extended protection using imidacloprid when planting seed pieces. Spinosad is another option in the arsenal, with the added benefit of being organic compliant.

Foliar diseases are being detected in high tunnel tomatoes. Many of these pathogens present on lower foliage first. At the time of fruit set, the lower ⅓ of leaves on tomato plants are generally not particularly productive from a photosynthesis standpoint, and therefore can be pruned to improve airflow between plants. Whitefly and aphid presence has been noted in peppers. Thrip pressure is heavy in onions in some areas.

As is the case every year, spray drift is being observed in vegetables. In some instances, symptoms resembling drift damage may occur on your vegetable crops when there is no obvious source of pesticides nearby. Drift particles may be moved surprisingly far by temperature inversions or other weather conditions. Other times, it may be an issue with herbicide residual activity in the soil.

One question from a community member: Is produce still safe to eat in cases where there is crop damage from pesticide drift? As is the case with most food safety questions – when in doubt, it’s best not to take the risk. There is uncertainty around how long it takes before residue levels are at or below the tolerance levels for situations in which a chemical is not registered for a specific crop. It is better to be on the side of caution when it comes to pesticides and produce safety.


Fire blight incidence is high in some apple orchards. Apple scab is also being observed this year, with most infection occurring on fruit rather than foliage. Powdery mildew is being reported. Codling moth flights have been strong this season which is leaving growers with weekly sprays. Dogwood borer flights are particularly strong, and we do not have clear peaks this season. Some rosy and green apple aphids, as well as white apple leafhoppers, are being observed in orchards. 

Bacterial leaf spot is being reported on peaches. Peach leaf curl incidence is also high so far this season. Peach X-disease was recently confirmed by the OSU diagnostic lab. There is oriental fruit moth activity in some peach orchards but seems to be well controlled in most cases.

Foliar symptoms of peach leaf curl. Photo source: Nancy Gregory, University of Delaware, Bugwood.org

There have been calls about thrips and sap beetles in strawberries. 

Similar to vegetables, herbicide drift damage is popping up in vineyards and other fruit. For commercial growers who have experienced significant losses, reach out to ODA to report drift damage. For those wishing to pursue legal action – as soon as damage is observed, store damaged tissue in the freezer for preservation so that it can be tested at a later date.

For more information or if you have questions, please reach out to a member of the Fruit & Vegetable team or your county extension educator.


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