Wayne County IPM Notes from July 12-July 18

Wayne County IPM Notes

(From the Week of July 12 – July 18)

Frank Becker, OSU Extension Wayne County

Vegetable Pests

            Squash Bugs are starting to lay large numbers of egg masses on summer squash, gourds, and pumpkins. Large numbers of squash bugs feeding can cause leaves to yellow and eventually die which can significantly reduce yield.

Japanese beetles on summer squash. F. Becker photo.

Cucumber Beetles are feeding again, primarily on young, recently transplanted squash. This is a important time to work on control of cucumber beetle as with young plants, the cucumber beetles can cause severe damage, stunt the growth of the plant and may lead to plants going down later with bacterial wilt.

Potato Leaf Hoppers (PLH) still have very high populations in several crops this year. PLH cause “hopper burn” on the leaves on which they are feeding. I have seen this damage to potatoes and green beans.

Japanese beetles are feeding in basically every crop that I scout. Sweet corn growers should be especially wary of the Japanese Beetles feeding since one of their target areas on sweet corn is the silk. The beetles can clip the silks and affect the success of the pollination. More on Japanese beetles and other sweet corn pests.

Vegetable Diseases

            Downy Mildew has been confirmed, again, in Medina County. Cucumber growers should have started a spray program for the cucurbit downy mildew.

Powdery mildew is starting to show up on cucurbit crops around the area. If older plantings of summer squash are heavily infested and you are no longer harvesting from those areas, it would be of your best interest to terminate that crop so that you are not allowing the powdery mildew to have a place to thrive. This is especially important if you have younger, successive plantings of summer squash nearby.

Powdery mildew starting to show on summer squash. F. Becker photo.

Some field tomatoes are showing symptoms of early blight. Early blight is a common tomato disease and happens when soil is splashed up onto the older, lower leaves. If not treated, early blight can cause significant defoliation of a plant.

In melon patches, specifically in cantaloupe, there is some Alternaria leaf blight showing up. This disease primarily affects the foliage but if the infection is severe enough, it may also infect the fruit.

Although not technically a disease, blossom end rot is still affecting a lot of crops. This is technically a deficiency of calcium in the plant but not necessarily in the soil. The best way to attempt to prevent further issues is to have consistent moisture to the plant and provide an environment conducive to adequate nutrient uptake.

Fruit Pests

Grape berry moth larva feeding inside a grape. F. Becker photo.

I have started to see grape berry moth larvae feeding in grape clusters. Scouting grapes and carefully assessing the grape clusters can help you determine management needs. Infestations of grape berry moths are typically higher along the borders, and near woods or hedge lines as compared to the interior of the vineyard.

Spotted Wing Drosophila numbers are still increasing. The trap counts were up again this week, with all the traps being in blueberry patches.

Codling Moth and Oriental Fruit Moth trap counts were low again this week and showed very little activity.

I am still seeing red mites in apple orchards throughout the county. Feeding by large populations of red mites can cause leaves to “bronze” and when left uncontrolled, this heavy feeding could result in leaf drop and a reduced size and quality of the crop. This hot and dry weather has been ideal for the red mite populations to get established in orchards.

Japanese beetles are feeding across the spectrum of fruit crops that I am scouting. I have noticed heavy damage primarily occurring on ripe blueberries and on grape leaves. Left uncontrolled, the Japanese beetles can cause severe defoliation in grapes.

Fruit Diseases

            Alternaria leaf blotch can be found on some apple trees right now. This can be made worse by red mite infestations. With high populations of mites and the leaf blotch, severe defoliation can occur.

Apple and peach growers should continue their spray programs to manage fruit rots and diseases such as flyspeck and sooty blotch.

Grapes should be starting to get some color to them as the clusters are starting to increase in size. At this point, most varieties of grapes should be resistant to black rot. Growers with varieties of grapes that are not resistant to downy mildew should consider a spray program. Find more here on grape diseases.

Wayne County IPM Notes From July 5 – July 11

Wayne County IPM Notes

(From the Week of July 5 – July 11)

Frank Becker, OSU Extension Wayne County

Vegetable Pests

            In sweet corn, the European corn borer (ECB) larvae are still doing damage. This week I started seeing some corn earworm (CEW) damage as well. The ECB trap counts dropped and showed little activity but the CEW traps started to increase in numbers. Even if the ECB activity seems to be slowing down, you need to be scouting your sweet corn for the CEW as well.

Squash bug egg mass on a zucchini leaf. F. Becker photo.

Squash Bugs have started to make their presence known. I have started seeing squash bug adults, primarily in summer squash plantings. I have also started to find squash bug egg masses. Large numbers of squash bugs feeding can cause leaves to yellow and eventually die which can significantly reduce yield.

Flea beetles are still very active and on a wide range of plants. Damage can be seen primarily on cole crops and potatoes.

Potato Leaf Hoppers (PLH) have high populations in several crops this year. PLH cause “hopper burn” on the leaves on which they are feeding. I have seen this damage to potatoes and green beans. Some of the PLH populations within green bean plantings have been incredibly high, in some cases, over 40 PLH per single leaf.

Potato leaf hoppers feeding on a green bean leaf. F. Becker photo.

Hopper burn from potato leaf hopper feeding on green beans. F. Becker photo

Vegetable Diseases

            Downy Mildew has been confirmed in Medina County. Cucumber growers should have started a spray program for the cucurbit downy mildew.

Powdery mildew is starting to show up on cucurbit crops around the state. I have not yet had any cases in Wayne County, but this disease should be watched for closely.

Cucurbit downy mildew on cucumber leaves. F. Becker photo.

Some field tomatoes are showing symptoms of early blight. Early blight is a common tomato disease which gets its start typically on the older, lower leaves. If not treated, early blight can cause significant defoliation of a plant.

In some melon patches, specifically in cantaloupe, there is some Alternaria leaf blight showing up. This disease primarily affects the foliage but if the infection is severe enough, it may also infect the fruit.

Fruit Pests

Spotted Wing Drosophila numbers are still increasing. The trap counts were up again this week, with all the traps being in blueberry patches.

Codling Moth and Oriental Fruit Moth trap counts were low again this week and showed very little activity.

I started to find red mites in apple orchards throughout the county. Feeding by large populations of red mites can cause leaves to “bronze” and when left uncontrolled, this heavy feeding could result in leaf drop and a reduced size and quality of the crop. This hot and dry weather has been ideal for the red mite populations to get established in orchards. Read more on Red Mite Management.

Mites feeding on an apple leaf. F. Becker photo.

Fruit Diseases

            Alternaria leaf blotch can be found on some apple trees right now. This can be made worse by red mite infestations. With high populations of mites and the leaf blotch, severe defoliation can occur.

Apple and peach growers should continue their spray programs to manage fruit rots and diseases such as flyspeck and sooty blotch. Managing Apple and Peach Summer Diseases

Grapes should be starting to get some color to them. At this point, most varieties of grapes should be resistant to black rot. Growers with varieties of grapes that are not resistant to downy mildew should consider a spray program.

Wayne County IPM Notes from June 28 – July 4

Wayne County IPM Notes

(From the Week of June 28 – July 4)

Frank Becker, OSU Extension Wayne County

Vegetable Pests

 

ECB damage to sweet corn tassel. F. Becker photo.

European Corn Borer has been doing damage in tasseling corn. The small ECB larva feed in the tassels as well as the young developing ears. It is important to thoroughly inspect the plants as you are scouting, especially with early season corn as their damage will not always be detected in the tassel like in later planted sweet corn. The ECB moth traps were high again this week, which is consistent with the amount of damage being done in early planted sweet corn.

Japanese Beetles are also starting to increase in number. They are a pest on most any crop. They can be especially damaging to sweet corn. The beetles can defoliate the leaves, but they can also clip the silks which can prevent proper pollination from occurring.

Worm feeding on cole crops has really started to pick up. I am finding a lot of imported cabbageworms doing damage on all ages of cole crops such as cabbage and kale. The adult butterflies can be seen in large numbers in cole crop plantings laying eggs on the plants. Read more here on pests of crucifers. I saw an uptick in the population of the flea beetle as well. Keep in mind that especially on younger plants, the flea beetles can cause a lot of damage and may stunt the plant.

Imported Cabbageworm larva on cabbage. F. Becker photo.

This hot and dry weather has been perfect weather for onion thrips. The thrips population has been high already in some areas, so this weather is favorable for large populations of thrips to develop. The thrips feeding can open the plant up to diseases such as purple blotch, so early detection and management are crucial to maintaining the health of the plant.

Vegetable Diseases

            Downy Mildew has been confirmed, again, in southern Michigan. Considering the proximity to Ohio, it has been recommended that cucumber growers begin a downy mildew fungicide program immediately. “Managing Downy Mildew in Cucurbits”

Powdery mildew is starting to show up on cucurbit crops around the state. I have not yet had any cases in Wayne County, but this disease should be watched for closely.

Some of the field peppers I am scouting showed signs of damping off. Damping off is caused by soil borne fungi such as Rhizoctonia, Pythium, Fusarium and Phytophthora.

Angular leaf spot has started to show up on some cucurbit crops, however, the hot and dry weather has helped slow it down or stop its progression altogether. Angular leaf spot is a bacterial disease, meaning that fungicides are not effective for management of this disease.

Fruit Pests

SWD female with a serrated ovipositor. F. Becker photo.

Spotted Wing Drosophila are here. All the traps out in Wayne County were positive for SWD. These traps are out in blueberry and strawberry patches. Strawberries are winding down, but the blueberries and raspberries getting ripe should be managed accordingly.

Codling Moth and Oriental Fruit Moth trap counts were down this week. Another week with our traps not over threshold.

Keep an eye out for aphids and mites in orchard crops. We are getting into the time of year where aphid and mite populations begin to increase and can do so rapidly. Leafhoppers are also a pest to be on the look out for, especially in grapes. More on Spider Mites

Fruit Diseases

            It is the right time to consider looking at managing summer diseases such as flyspeck, sooty blotch, and fruit rots. This can go for peaches as well with diseases such as brown rot and scab.

Peach “mummy” still present in a tree this spring. F Becker photo.

Necrotic leaf blotch and Alternaria leaf blotch can be found on some apple trees right now. Alternaria leaf blotch can be made worse by red mite infestations. With high populations of mites and the leaf blotch, severe defoliation can occur. More on foliar apple diseases: Leaf Spots

Another note on apples, although not a disease, the effect of freeze/cold damage can appear unsightly and may be confused for a disease. This scabby looking ring or spots on the fruit are known as “frost rings”. This is a result of the tissues being damaged in cold or freezing temperatures.

Grapes are now around the “shatter” stage where the unfertilized berries fall off the clusters. It is important to be considering proactive treatments for grape downy mildew especially if you have a variety of grapes that are susceptible to downy mildew.

Potato Leaf Hopper in Alfalfa

Alfalfa growers should be keeping an eye on the populations of Potato Leaf Hoppers in their fields. On the most recent C.O.R.N. (Crop Observation and Recommendation Network) call, it was shared that around the state there are very active populations of PLH. In several cases it was shared that PLH levels were reaching more than double the action threshold. The threshold for 20+ inch alfalfa is 20 PLH and levels were seen as high as 50-60 PLH per 10 sweeps. Even for alfalfa with a high tolerance to stress from PLH feeding, these elevated PLH population levels will almost certainly result in a yield reduction. This yield reduction can not only impact the current stand, but the stress of heavy PLH feeding may result in a yield loss in subsequent cuttings. Management of the PLH can be broken down into three strategies: growing PLH resistant or tolerant varieties, harvesting at an appropriate time to limit population growth, and if warranted, a rescue insecticide treatment.

In the PLH Fact Sheet written by Ron Hammond, Andy Michel, James Eisley and Mark Sulc, attention is brought to considering the economics of deciding whether a treatment would be justified. “The economic value of an alfalfa stand is also a key factor in a treatment decision. Treatment of a 1st or 2nd year stand of alfalfa may be justified, whereas treatment of an older, thinner alfalfa stand may not be warranted unless the PLH infestation is very heavy. In the case of a new alfalfa seeding, treatment may be warranted for marginal infestations of PLH to insure stand establishment.”

Action threshold table from the PLH Factsheet

 

-Frank Becker, IPM Program Coordinator, OSU Extension Wayne County

Scouting Notes From June 21-June 27

Wayne County IPM Notes

(From the Week of June 21 – June 27)

Frank Becker, OSU Extension Wayne County

Vegetable Pests

            Potato Leaf Hoppers are feeding on potato and green beans. They will also cause damage to eggplant and other crops as well. Their feeding causes what is known as “hopper burn” around the leaf edges and if left untreated, the feeding will eventually cause the leaves to turn brown and begin to die back.

Cucumber Beetles are high in numbers right now. Cucumber Beetles vector the Bacterial Wilt disease so early season control of the beetles is vital to the long-term health of the plant. Also note that as your plants are blooming, the beetles may be in the blossoms. In small enough numbers, this is okay, but they can also damage the fruit from feeding on the blossom. Consider the pollinators when planning out treatment options for cucumber beetle.

European Corn Borer is now doing damage in tasseling corn. The small ECB larva feed in the tassels as well as the ears. It is important to thoroughly inspect the plants as you are scouting, especially with early season corn as their damage will not always be detected in the tassel like in later planted sweet corn. An ECB trap in Wayne County had 9 moths in the trap this week.

Onion thrips populations have really trended upwards. Damage from thrips occurs primarily in the center of the plant where the new growth is emerging. Heavy feeding can lead to reduced bulb size or even plant death. The thrips damage can also open the plant up to purple blotch which is able to infect the plant via the wounds created by the thrips feeding. Click here to see photos of thrips and the damage they cause.

Colorado Potato Beetle are still feeding on eggplant and potatoes. Although their numbers are not as high where there has been several treatments, their populations can quickly get out of hand.

Vegetable Diseases

            Downy Mildew has been confirmed in south west Michigan. Considering the proximity to Ohio, it has been recommended that cucumber growers begin a downy mildew fungicide program immediately. Read more from Sally Miller’s lab.

Some of the field peppers I am scouting showed signs of damping off. Damping off is caused by soil borne fungi such as Rhizoctonia, Pythium, Fusarium and Phytophthora.

Powdery mildew is starting to show up on cucurbit crops around the state. I have not yet had any cases in Wayne County, but this disease should be watched for closely.

Fruit Pests

Spotted Wing Drosophila are starting to be found in Wayne County and surrounding areas. As more small fruits come into season, expect the number of SWD to increase rapidly. “Monitoring and Managing Spotted Wing Drosophila in Fruit Crops” 

Codling Moth and Oriental Fruit Moth traps had an increase in numbers but nothing above threshold levels.

Keep an eye out for aphids in orchard crops. We are getting into the time of year where aphid populations begin to increase and can do so rapidly. Leafhoppers are another pest to be on the look out for.

Fruit Diseases

            It is the right time to consider looking at managing summer diseases such as flyspeck, sooty blotch, and fruit rots. This note can go for peaches as well with diseases such as brown rot and scab.

Another note on apples, although not a disease, the effect of freeze/cold damage can appear unsightly and may be confused for a disease. This scabby looking ring or spots on the fruit are known as “frost rings”. This is a result of the tissues being damaged in cold or freezing temperatures. Rich Marini from Penn State notes “Sometimes frost during bloom may not kill a flower or small fruit, but may injure the skin tissues and cause a ring of russet around the fruit and these are referred to as frost rings.” Read more here about apple skin disorders.

Grapes are now around the “shatter” stage where the unfertilized berries fall off the clusters. It is important to be considering proactive treatments for grape downy mildew especially if you have a variety of grapes that are susceptible to downy mildew.

 

 

 

Scouting Notes from June 15 – June 19

Wayne County IPM Notes

(From the Week of June 15 – June 19)

Frank Becker, IPM Program Coordinator

OSU Extension Wayne County

Vegetable Pests

Japanese Beetle on corn, F. Becker photo

This week I began seeing Japanese Beetles, specifically in sweet corn. These beetles are generalist feeders and will do damage to most any crop. Keep an eye out for the beetles and the defoliation that they can cause. More Info

Flea Beetles are doing damage to a lot of younger transplants. Flea Beetles will utilize weeds as host plants. Keeping your fields free from weeds will help to reduce the populations of flea beetles.

Cucumber Beetles are high in numbers right now. Cucumber Beetles vector the Bacterial Wilt disease so early season control of the beetles is vital to the long-term health of the plant. Also note that as your plants are blooming, the beetles may be in the blossoms. In small enough numbers, they are not detrimental, but they can also damage the fruit from feeding on the blossom and interfering with pollination. Consider the pollinators when planning out treatment options for cucumber beetle.

European Corn Borer moths are out. A trap this week in Wayne County picked up 14 moths. ECB will do damage to both peppers and sweet corn.

Onions are at a point where thrips populations could begin to increase. Consistent rains and small plants had kept the thrips population down, but with onions increasing in size and putting on more leaves, this will be a pest to keep an eye on.

The Imported Cabbageworm larvae, among other worm pests of brassicas, are feeding on cole crops and leafy greens such as kale. Severe foliar feeding could stunt the plant growth or significantly reduce yield.

Vegetable Diseases

            Timber rot is still being found, mostly in high tunnel tomatoes. Botrytis is still being seen, as is blossom end rot. To manage blossom end rot, it is important to limit moisture stress on a plant, from either too much or not enough moisture. Being consistent in watering and monitoring soil moisture conditions will help to prevent exposing the plant to moisture stress. Proper moisture will also provide conducive conditions for adequate nutrient uptake, given that the nutrients are present at appropriate levels in the soil.

Botrytis is also being seen in onions. This disease is primarily affecting the foliage but can impact the integrity of the bulb if left uncontrolled. Find out more about management of onion diseases here: Growing Onions

Some of the field peppers I am scouting showed signs of damping off. Damping off is caused by soil borne fungi such as Rhizoctonia, Pythium, Fusarium and Phytophthora.

Fruit Pests

Japanese Beetles feeding on young apples, F. Becker photo

With finding Japanese Beetles this week, I would encourage fruit growers to keep a close eye on their trees and small fruit plants. Grapes especially can be a target of the Japanese Beetle and can be defoliated very rapidly. This kind of damage is detrimental to the yield of the crop.

SWD traps are out and we will start getting an idea of population numbers within the next week or two.

Codling Moth and Oriental Fruit Moth traps counts were low but starting to tick up. This week will be an important week in determining the next generation of moths. More on Codling Moth management and additional information from Celeste Welty: Codling Moth

Fruit Diseases

            Now is the time to be managing early season diseases in apples. Scab, rust and powdery mildew are the three main diseases of concern at this point in the season. It may also be appropriate to start considering managing summer diseases such as flyspeck, sooty blotch, and fruit rots.

Strawberry leaf diseases may appear unsightly right now, however, now is not the time to be managing these leaf diseases. Once harvest is done and during patch renovation it is recommended that you address these concerns, either with a fungicide or with resistant plant varieties. This is also a critical time to be watching for fruit rots such as Botrytis.

 

 

Scouting Notes From June 8-June 12

Wayne County IPM Notes

(From the Week of June 8 – June 12)

Frank Becker, OSU Extension Wayne County

Vegetable Pests

Young Colorado Potato Beetle larva (F. Becker photo)

The Colorado Potato Beetle is still feeding heavily, especially on potato. The larvae are out in large numbers and many egg clusters are hatching or will soon be. They are most effectively controlled in the larval stage. It is best to coordinate insecticide applications in line with when the egg masses are hatching, and young larva are starting to feed on the foliage.

Flea Beetles are still prevalent and doing damage. Flea Beetles will also utilize weeds as host plants. Keeping your fields free from weeds will help to reduce the populations of flea beetles.

Cucumber Beetles are out in force right now. For growers who use a seed treatment on cucurbit crops, keep in mind that the treatment is typically effective up to the 2-leaf stage, at which point the efficacy starts to decline. Cucumber Beetles vector the Bacterial Wilt disease so early season control of the beetles is vital to the long-term health of the plant.

In sweet corn, cut worm damage has started popping up along with some more significant European corn borer damage.

Onions are at a point where thrips populations could begin to increase. Consistent rains and small plants had kept the thrips population down, but with some drier weather in the forecast and onions increasing in size and putting on more leaves, this will be a pest to keep an eye on.

Imported Cabbage Worm Larva (F. Becker photo)

The Imported Cabbageworm larvae, among other worm pests of brassicas, are feeding on cole crops and leafy greens such as kale. Severe foliar feeding could stunt the plant growth or significantly reduce yield.

Vegetable Diseases

Timber Rot on a high tunnel tomato (F. Becker photo)

Timber rot of tomato is being found, especially in high tunnel tomatoes. This disease will take down a plant very rapidly. The survival structure, called a sclerotia, can survive in the soil for several years. It is important to allow for good airflow to avoid excess moisture in the tunnel. Additionally, it is recommended that if you are pruning to sanitize the tools between each cut. Diseased plants may also be removed and disposed of to prevent further spread of the pathogen.  Find more details about timber rot and management options in this article by Sally Miller: https://u.osu.edu/miller.769/2016/06/22/white-moldtimber-rot-management-in-tomato-high-tunnels/

Botrytis is still being seen, as is blossom end rot. To manage blossom end rot, it is important to limit moisture stress on a plant, from either too much or not enough moisture. Being consistent in watering and monitoring soil moisture conditions will help to prevent exposing the plant to moisture stress. Proper moisture will also provide conducive conditions for adequate nutrient uptake, given that the nutrients are present at appropriate levels in the soil.

 

Fruit Pests

Strawberry producers typically are facing several insect pests this time of year. One of these pests is the eastern flower thrips. This small insect feeds on and damages the strawberry blossom. As the berry begins to develop, this damage results in cat-facing on the berry or a russeting/bronzed appearance. When you notice these symptoms on the developing berry, the damage has already been done and there are no treatment options. To look for thrips in the blossoms, take a white piece of paper or a plate and shake the blossoms onto the plate and watch for any small, slender yellow thrips to be moving around. Once you have reached 2 or more thrips per blossom, you should move forward with a treatment. Consider the pollinators before applying an insecticide, considering the target of your application is primarily associated with the blossoms. Preventative sprays can also be used in successive plantings. See more on Thrips in this post by Celeste Welty: Beware of thrips on strawberries

Another pest of strawberries and small fruits is the spotted wing Drosophila. The SWD is a small fruit fly that can lay its eggs in ripening fruit while it is still on the plant. As you are picking, do not discard unwanted fruit on the ground right next to the plant. The rotting fruit on the ground will attract SWD. Instead bring a bucket to discard unwanted fruit in and either bury it a foot or so deep in soil or seal the fruit in a clear plastic bag exposed to the sun for about a week to kill any larvae. If culls are discarded in the trash or compost pile, they might attract SWD flies and allow for more generations to be produced. This is also the time to put traps out in your bramble and blueberry patch but if you have June bearing strawberries, they likely won’t be affected by this pest. More details about how to set up traps can be in the  OSU IPM YouTube page under the SWD playlist at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzcWaLH3mx7HUKh4OF7bYPA and on Celeste Welty’s page here: https://u.osu.edu/pestmanagement/

Codling Moth and Oriental Fruit Moth traps are showing low numbers right now.

Fruit Diseases

            Now is the time to be managing early season diseases in apples. Scab, rust and powdery mildew are the three main diseases of concern at this point in the season. It may also be appropriate to consider looking at managing summer diseases such as flyspeck, sooty blotch, and fruit rots.

Strawberry leaf diseases may appear unsightly right now, however, now is not the time to be managing these leaf diseases. Once harvest is done and during patch renovation it is recommended that you address these concerns, either with a fungicide or with resistant plant varieties. This is also a critical time to be watching for fruit rots such as Botrytis.

Grapes are currently either at pre-bloom or blooming. This stage is the most critical stage of development for controlling diseases. Fungicide applications for black rot, powdery mildew and downy mildew are highly recommended during this time. See more details about grape black rot here.

Scouting Report for 6/8-6/12

Wayne County IPM Notes

(Week of June 8 – June 12)

Frank Becker, OSU Extension Wayne County

Vegetable Pests

            The Colorado Potato Beetle is still feeding heavily, especially on potato. The larvae are out in large numbers and many egg clusters are hatching or will soon be. They are most effectively controlled in the larval stage. It is best to coordinate insecticide applications in line with when the egg masses are hatching, and young larva are starting to feed on the foliage.

Flea Beetles are still prevalent and doing damage. Flea Beetles will also utilize weeds as host plants. Keeping your fields free from weeds will help to reduce the populations of flea beetles.

Cucumber Beetles are out in force right now. For growers who use a seed treatment on cucurbit crops, keep in mind that the treatment is typically effective up to the 2-leaf stage, at which point the efficacy starts to decline. Cucumber Beetles vector the Bacterial Wilt disease so early season control of the beetles is vital to the long-term health of the plant.

In sweet corn, cut worm damage has started popping up along with some more significant European corn borer damage.

Onions are at a point where thrips populations could begin to increase. Consistent rains and small plants had kept the thrips population down, but with some drier weather in the forecast and onions increasing in size and putting on more leaves, this will be a pest to keep an eye on.

The Imported Cabbageworm larvae, among other worm pests of brassicas, are feeding on cole crops and leafy greens such as kale. Severe foliar feeding could stunt the plant growth or significantly reduce yield.

Vegetable Diseases

            Timber rot of tomato is being found, especially in high tunnel tomatoes. This disease will take down a plant very rapidly. The survival structure, called a sclerotia, can survive in the soil for several years. It is important to allow for good airflow to avoid excess moisture in the tunnel. Additionally, it is recommended that if you are pruning to sanitize the tools between each cut. Diseased plants may also be removed and disposed of to prevent further spread of the pathogen.

Botrytis is still being seen, as is blossom end rot. To manage blossom end rot, it is important to limit moisture stress on a plant, from either too much or not enough moisture. Being consistent in watering and monitoring soil moisture conditions will help to prevent exposing the plant to moisture stress. Proper moisture will also provide conducive conditions for adequate nutrient uptake, given that the nutrients are present at appropriate levels in the soil.

 

Fruit Pests

Strawberry producers typically are facing several insect pests this time of year. One of these pests is the eastern flower thrips. This small insect feeds on and damages the strawberry blossom. As the berry begins to develop, this damage results in cat-facing on the berry or a russeting/bronzed appearance. When you notice these symptoms on the developing berry, the damage has already been done and there are no treatment options. To look for thrips in the blossoms, take a white piece of paper or a plate and shake the blossoms onto the plate and watch for any small, slender yellow thrips to be moving around. Once you have reached 2 or more thrips per blossom, you should move forward with a treatment. Consider the pollinators before applying an insecticide, considering the target of your application is primarily associated with the blossoms. Preventative sprays can also be used in successive plantings.

Another pest of strawberries and small fruits is the spotted wing drosophila. The SWD is a small fruit fly that can lay its eggs in ripening fruit while it is still on the plant. As you are picking, do not discard unwanted fruit on the ground right next to the plant. The rotting fruit on the ground will attract SWD. Instead bring a bucket to discard unwanted fruit in and either discard in the trash or compost it, so long as the compost pile is a good distance away. SWD traps will be going out within the next week.

Codling Moth and Oriental Fruit Moth traps are showing low numbers right now.

Fruit Diseases

            Now is the time to be managing early season diseases in apples. Scab, rust and powdery mildew are the three main diseases of concern at this point in the season. It may also be appropriate to consider looking at managing summer diseases such as flyspeck, sooty blotch, and fruit rots.

Strawberry leaf diseases may appear unsightly right now, however, now is not the time to be managing these leaf diseases. Once harvest is done and during patch renovation it is recommended that you address these concerns, either with a fungicide or with resistant plant varieties. This is also a critical time to be watching for fruit rots such as Botrytis.

Grapes are currently either at pre-bloom or blooming. This stage is the most critical stage of development for controlling diseases. Fungicide applications for black rot, powdery mildew and downy mildew are highly recommended during this time.