Monday Morning Crop Update; Rains Over Weekend; New Program for Strawberry Fruit Infection Risk (11:54am, 4/20/15)

— Written By Barclay Poling and last updated by
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pickingFig. 1. At the start of every strawberry season growers  like to see “fair skies” … such as was the case on the day of this visit to a Nova Scotia strawberry farm several years ago (they were harvesting the matted row variety ‘Mira’). I am afraid the crop in the Carolinas got off to a challenging  start this past week with cloudy weather and rains. So, It is good to finally see some sunshine breaking through today (4/20). Last night and this morning (4/19-4/20) some areas in the region reported nearly 3 inches of rain!

In this advisory:

1. Monday morning crop update

2. How low tunnels may help in rainy season?

3. New program for strawberry fruit infection risk

4. Grower notes on Ph-D fungicide

1. Growers, agronomists and others provide reports on strawberry crop

1a) “Weathering this Weather” in Faison, NC, Ron Cottle

“Man, we need a break (on weather), it has been a real hard start with all the rain. We should start picking berries not covered (row covers) tomorrow. Been picking ones covered for 10 days now. I am going to figure out today was it worth it or not to cover in a year like this with all the rain.”

1b) Picking since April 6 in Whiteville, NC, but need break on rains!

whitevilleFig. 2. Whiteville, NC, is shown on this Google map. Many people do not know this, but the 1st strawberry plasticulture grower in NC was Mr. J.B. Council, Whiteville.

     “Please say a prayer for sunshine, we’ve had eight straight days of clouds, rain and cold temps. Its been the wildest seasons so far I’ve seen .We started picking April 6. We had the heat in early April and we went from nothing, to picking 300 flats a day only on a portion of 5 acres to now down to 30 flats a day. We started seeing runners in Chandler, Camarosa, Albion, and Camino Real the first week we were picking. These were plug plants that were covered in Dec and Jan and again in frost events in March. Hopefully, some sunshine soon and we’ll be back up to speed.

Also a side note, I know you said you would be in Burgaw the first of May. If at all possible I would love to have you site visit our farm in Whiteville if time permits which is about 45 min from Burgaw
                        Thanks Jerry Robinson

Editor’s note:  I will try to manage a swing through in early May!

1c) “Picking is picking up in Region 6” Report from Mike Wilder

mike add

racolor2Fig. 3. NC Map of Regional Agronomist Territories

Hi Barclay,
“Picking is “picking up” – Folks are preparing to open – from what I can see those who open weekend of 4/25 will have a limited supply and the following weekend things should be moving along nicely. Right now just enough to send some to local farmer’s mkt / roadside stands. Not ready for pyo.”

1d) Clayton, NC

Early varieties have a few ripe but the Chandler and Camarosa will be next week at the earliest.
Rocco Shiavone, Res. Tech., NCSU

Editor’s note:  Over the years we were generally picking by about 3rd week in April at Clayton, so it is interesting to hear from Rocco that picking will not really commence until next week. I keep track of Growing Degree Days at Clayton, and for base 50, they had about 480 GDD as of last Friday. Note how many GDD units we picked up in the last week (e.g. on 4/14 we accumulated 20 GDD units). The use of row covers has been rather minimal at Clayton, except for coldest weather periods this past winter.

deg day clayton

1e)  Upstate, SC – will soon be picking “Cams” … Chandler still behind

EasleyFig. 4. Easley is highlighted on this map (west of Greenville)

“I think we will have pretty good picking today and Cams will be very heavy in another day. Chandlers still not ready for picking. Maybe by this weekend. I think it is going to spread out nicely. Speaking of Albion, I have talked to 2 growers and both report heavy rain losses with this variety, even on fruit that hasn’t ripened up.”  Eric Hunter

alb good underFig. 5. On my same trip to Nova Scotia several years ago, I noticed more of an issue with rain damage in Albion than Seascape (another DN). After a very slight shower,  the tip portion of the Albion berry that was in contact with moisture was slightly damaged. Chander and Camarosa are not so sensitive to rain as this. I have observed similar rain damage issues with Sweet Ann from Lassen Canyon at a farm in Central VA (Aaron Goode). Otherwise, Sweet Ann has some interesting potential (Fig. 6).

Sweet_Ann_1000_C_4febcc33cd37c-300x300Fig. 6. Sweet Ann. This is a relatively new variety from Lassen Canyon. According to the literature on Sweet Ann:

“A vigorous plant with high productivity and exceptional flavor. Sweet Ann offers an excellent disease resistant profile which is conducive to the success for the organic growers, which does require larger plant spacing due to its erect growth pattern. A spacing of 13-15 inches is ideal.”

Fruit quality is large, semi firm, with an old fashion strawberry sweet flavor.

 2. How low tunnels can help in a rainy season:

A grower in Sandhills who is now working with low tunnels sent this photo today:

berreis in aisleFig. 7. Unprotected rows had significant rain losses, as can be observed in this photo. Nearly 3 inches of rain fell at this Sandhills location over the weekend.

no rain lossFig. 8. With low tunnel protection, there were no rain losses this weekend. This type of protection may be more critical to some newer varieties like Albion and Sweet Ann.

3. New program for strawberry fruit infection risk

AgroClimateFig. 9. A new strawberry fruit infection risk program was just announced by Dr. Louws

I  received this VIP note from Dr. Frank Louws on April 17. PLEASE be sure to click on this site frequently during the harvest season to get the latest forecast for your area on botrytis and anthracnose pressure.

<Editor’s note:  don’t forget, there is also a new APP from Clemson called MyIPM that provides critical crop protection information (>


I just posted a new Botrytis and Anthracnose Forecasting tool. Can you link it to your “broadcast news:  It is on the strawberry, IPM and Plant Pathology Portals.

Frank L.

4. Grower notes on Ph-D fungicide

PhD Hi Barclay,


The Group 19 fungicide Ph-D (Polyoxin D zinc salt 11.3%) is Arysta’s WDG dry formulation of the Certis product OSO 5%SC (Polyoxin D zinc salt 5.0%–SC liquid).

I bought OSO from Helena Chemical and will spray it with Captan today (Saturday, 4/18/15). We have not used it before but are trying it in order to reduce use of other fungicides which are showing resistance in our fields. I’m pretty sure Polyoxin D zinc salt is not included in Guido’s resistance profiles?

All things—including cost per acre—being equal, next time I would probably order the WDG Ph-D as it is easier for me to weigh small quantities accurately than it is to accurately measure small quantities of a liquid product.

At the max labeled rate (13 fl.oz./acre), OSO uses 0.72 oz. AI per acre. At “the” labeled rate, Ph-D uses 0.7 oz. AI per acre.


Tom & Anne Baker and Amanda McCann
Brookdale Farm
2060 Vaughan Rd, Virginia Beach, VA  23457

Thanks to the several growers, agronomists, specialists and others for their respective contributions to this advisory.
Dr. E. Barclay Poling
Professor Emeritus (Strawberry Plasticulture Researcher)
Department of Horticultural Science
Campus Box 7609, 162A Kilgore Hall
NC State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7609

The use of brand names and any mention or listing of commercial products or services in this advisory does not imply endorsement by NCCES; nor discrimination against similar products or services not mentioned.

Any mention of specific strawberry plasticulture practices and cultivars are based primarily on  grower experiences. Because environmental conditions vary widely in the Southeastern United States, growers should always be sure to obtain current information about strawberry plasticulture production practices and varieties for their local area from their county Cooperative Extension center.

Updated on Feb 9, 2016
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