Grower Updates on Saturday Morning (8:45am, 3/12/16)

— Written By Barclay Poling

Remember, Daylight Savings Time starts Tomorrow (move clock forward one hour – effective at 2 a.m. Sunday).

Grower reports today (Sat., 3/12)

No. 1. Sandhills, NC:

Barclay,
Sweet Charlie unexpectedly are not really more advanced than Camarosa.
SC-4-5 open bloom, 2-3% plants with one very small fruit
Camarosa-5-6 open bloom. 1-2% plants with one very small fruit
Chandler-3-4 open blooms, blooms less advanced.
I am not sure that we will be as early as 2012, but we could be 2 weeks earlier than the previous two seasons.​

No. 2. Randolph County (central piedmont)

IMG_20160307_080304934Fig. 1. I shared this photo on Tuesday (3/8); it was taken by grower on Monday, and I doubled back to ask him how long his covers had been on these Camarosa plants?

Reply – We covered the first week of January removed the covers this past Monday. They were planted the last day of September.

Editor comment:  these plants were easily at 10% bloom, or about 1/2 dozen open blossoms per plant on Monday. Since Monday we have accumulated a whopping number of Growing Degree Units. In fact, at the pace we are going, this could be like the 2012 season (very early), except, I think we are in for a return to more seasonal temperatures that will slow things down again.

No. 4. Mocksville, NC

Hi Dr Poling,

This is our first year growing strawberries and I have attended several small fruit classes and continue to read everything I can find to learn more, but I am still very ‘green’. We didn’t know we needed to ‘clean the field’ until the window was nearly closed. We have about a half acre of camarosa and I have quite a few plants that seem to have died from grey mold. My question is, should I spray the entire field with captan to prevent any further loss? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Reply:  I am not aware of any season in past years where we went so abruptly from dormant and semi-dormant plants to new leaf stage and open blossoms so quickly. There is usually more of a transition period. Sorry you missed the window, but there is no question in my mind that for crops that did not get a clean-up, it is crucial to get underway with a fungicide program for control of gray mold (Botrytis). These are crucial documents for you to read right now, and take action on:

2014-collection-instructions-11 (1)

2016-03-12_08-35-13Fig. 2. Fungicide Decisions for Botrytis and Anthracnose 2016 FINAL

4. Maryland report from Bob Rouse (3/11)

Little winter injury and five or so branch crowns coming on Flavorfest. Spring is early here too. Forsythia starting to bloom. Tulip magnolia blooming; small grain green up; grass growing at my Denton, Maryland location. DC cherry blooms are going to be early.
Temperature projections ten days out are mild to warm depending on location. Cold snap possible around the 18. This is early. At this point we are probably at least 10 days ahead of normal and maybe heading for more. 1990 was a year when things broke real early compared to normal. Time to start getting everything into gear. Thanks for the Louws update.

Editor:  speaking of getting everything into gear, have you:

1) made arrangements for bees to be delivered? Bloom is here NOW

2) gotten back your Profile report from Clemson so that you know what can be sprayed for gray mold during bloom

3) carefully read all of the labels on pesticides you are planning to use this season?

4) are you planning an injection of Ridomil – check with your agent/specialist if you have any questions

5) control of annual rye-grass in middles – NOW

6) all containers ordered – NOW

7) consider possibility of season being 2 weeks earlier this year an implications for picking labor, labor for market at farm, labor for satellite stands, and how this could impact CSA program?

8) Drip irrigation is critical during these warm days! Do not let shoulders of bed become dry!

9) Drip fertigation now needs to be underway, and you should be preparing to send in a plant tissue sample asap. Here is some VIP information on fertility management: SP_Chapt8 Fertility Management

10)  Deer? Check this out:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbRRgIbYKgw#

deer fenceFig. 3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbRRgIbYKgw#

2nd Maryland Report & Photos:

russ taking cover off todayruss chandler row on 3.12.16Figs. 4&5. These Chandlers were uncovered Monday March 7. These pictures were taken this morning March 12 notice the amount of new leaves that have pushed through in this week of unseasonably warm weather!

Powdery mildew diagnosed in fall, and treated by grower in that season:

Schlegal Mar 12 2106 PowderyFig. 6. These pictures were taken early December. As you can see in the newest pics (Fig 7) no sign of it now. The grower said, “One problem with covers you don’t know what’s going on under them.”

powdery nowFig. 7. The grower indicated that he feels this problem is under control now

Editor’s note:  I don’t know if many growers in this region are aware of it, but Powdery Mildew was a very serious problem this winter in Florida!

5. Virginia Grower Reports

lowell yoder scFig. 8. Saw the first Sweet Charlie blooms a few days ago. Chandlers are
really pushing too and I expect to see some blooms on them soon as
well. Maybe not a 2012 repeat but certainly earlier then the last several years…….

Lowell Yoder, Rustburg

Have a good day and weekend!

Barclay Poling

Retired Extension Specialist (Strawberry Plasticulture)

p.s. Are you using the new Strawberry Fruit Infection Risk Tool on this Website – just go to home page and click on “Strawberry Fruit Infection Risk Tool” (in red)

2016-03-12_09-07-15Fig. 9. If you click on this new tool today, chances are you may see that RISK for anthracnose and botrytis are HIGH

p.s. s. I did have an opportunity to attend the CALS Partners Meeting on March 8, 2016, McKimmon Center for Extension and Continuing Education. Dr. Richard Linton, Dean, introduced Dr. Richard Bonanno, Director of Extension, who provided a “Vision for N.C. Cooperative Extension.”

IMG_6795Fig. 10. Dean Richard Linton introduced Dr. Rich Bonnano, new Extension Director at NCSU, at CALS Partners Meeting on March 8th. Also, speaking on this program was Mr. Joe Hampton, Supt., Piedmont Research Station (Salisbury), who discussed, Creating the NC State/Virginia Tech Beef Cattle Production Enhancement Team.”  I have always been a strong proponent of Multi-state programs, and though not many people realize this, my Strawberry/Muscadine Extenstion position at NCSU (1980-2010), was a multi-state position. I was one of the specialists in Dept of Hort Science, along with Dr. Doug Sanders, who had a federal mandate to conduct our respective programs on multi-state level.