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2012 Strawberry Pest Management Season Begins: Fighting Frost and Fungi

Frost injury on strawberry plant

Frost injury; photo by David Handley

An early warm up in March and April got strawberry growth off to an early start, especially in fields that weren’t covered with straw. However, the trend reversed itself later and growers found themselves protecting buds and flowers from frost much earlier than usual. More recent cool, damp weather has slowed strawberry development, resulting in an extended bloom period. This stretch of wet weather may help keep spider mites and tarnished plant bugs in check, at least temporarily, as these pests tend to have less success reproducing under cool, wet conditions. However, gray mold, caused by the fungus Botrytis, and bacterial angular leaf spot can develop quite well under these conditions, and growers should be ready to apply preventative sprays as soon as possible. Read more>>

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