Wet Spring, Perfect Storm for Disease Development in Strawberry Production
The strawberry crop has made it through a few scares already this season. We had some temperature swings that caused a bit of freeze damage but for the most part the berries pulled through. Now we are about to battle more rainy weather and with that will come disease (Fig. 1). In order to protect your berries you will want to put out a fungicide spray before the rains hit but make sure to allow time for rain fastness, refer to label. If you can’t beat the rain make sure to get an application out soon after. There have been reports of leather rot, which can be prevented with the fungicides Aliette or Ridomil Gold. These fungicides will also be effective for root rot. I have seen a bit of root rot already this season, especially in water logged soils. If your soil is poorly drained, you will want to keep up a good management program with Ridomil and Alliete in the line-up along with Fosphite. We have also had reports of botrytis gray mold which can be managed with many fungicides. Here is a link to our strawberry production guide that has a great list of fungicides and also details when to use the products for root rot, botrytis and other strawberry diseases. Click here for a link to the Small Fruit Managment Guide. Remember to always read the pesticide label for rates and application instructions.
Fig. 1. Common strawberry diseases that can be managed with fungicides. Photo courtesy of Ontario CropIPM.
Fig. 2. Phytophthora crown rot is characterized by a reddish brown color, when the crown is split in half. Photo Courtesy FJ Louws, NC State University.