Berries Production Guide

Blackberries
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Insects

This section was updated - 26 June 2017

Most insecticides are hazardous to bees. Avoid applying insecticides during the blossom period. Should it be necessary to apply insecticides during this period, notify beekeepers in the area. Evening applications are safer to bees than daytime applications. Refer to "Pollination" in this guide for more information on avoiding harm to bees./p>

Aphids

Hosts

Attacks red raspberry, loganberry, and blackberry. 

Damage

Aphids rarely do any direct damage to blackberries. 

Identification

Aphids are found in colonies on new shoot growth, buds, undersides of leaves, and near flower and fruit clusters. Adult aphids are small (2 to 3 mm) and vary in colour from pale yellow, green, to red. As colonies become crowded, winged forms appear. The immature stages resemble small wingless adults. 

Life History

Aphids overwinter as eggs on plants. Under coastal conditions eggs hatch about May. The nymphs feed on blossoms, then growing shoots and leaves. There are several generations during the spring and summer. In the fall, winged forms disperse and lay eggs on the overwintering host plants. 

Monitoring

Early detection is important for effective, economical control. Inspect growing tips weekly from before bloom to harvest. Inspect several sites, especially in the upwind margins of the planting where wind-blown aphids are most likely to occur.

Management

Biological control

Aphids are often controlled by a number of native predators and parasites including ladybugs, lacewings, and syrphid larvae. If chemicals are needed for other pests, pesticides that will have the least impact on the beneficial insects should be used. Refer to “Pesticide toxicity to beneficial insects” in the General Pest Chapter.

Chemical control

Apply:

Admire 240F or Alias 240SC (240 g/L imidacloprid) at 175 mL/ha (70 mL/acre) as a foliar spray in enough water to obtain good coverage. Apply post-bloom. Do not apply more than 3 times per season. If multiple applications are necessary, allow at least 7 days between sprays. Do not apply within 4 days of harvest; or

Note: Admire and Alias are toxic to bees. Do not apply immediately pre-bloom or during bloom when bees are actively foraging.

Movento 240SC (240 g/L spirotetramat) at 220-365 mL/ha (88-146 mL/ac) in a minimum of 300 L/ha (120 L/ac) of water.  Apply post-bloom.  Do not apply more than once every 7 days.  Do not apply more than 3 times per season. Do not apply within 3 days of harvest; or

.Sivanto Prime (200g/L flupyradifurone) at 500-750 ml/ha (196-295 ml/acre) in a minimum of 100 L/ha (40 L/acre) of water as a directed foliar spray. Do not apply more than once every 7 days. Do not exceed 2000 ml/ha (787 ml/acre) per season. Do not apply within 0 days of harvest.

 

Cane Maggot

Hosts

All cane fruits

Damage

Cane maggots cause sporadic injury but are seldom a serious pest. In early spring maggots bore about 15 cm down into the canes, then turn outward and girdle them, leaving a bluish ring. The shoot droops at this point, then shrivels and dries up.

Identification

The adult is a small fly that is rarely noticed. The maggot is creamy white and reaches about 0.5 cm in length.

Life Cycle

There is one generation a year. In early spring the adult fly lays a single egg on unopened leaves at the tip of a new shoot. This egg hatches within a week and the resulting maggot bores down inside the shoot. The maggot remains in the shoot until next spring, when it becomes an adult fly.

Monitoring

Wilted shoots are the only reliable indication of this pest.

Management

Cultural control

Cut off wilting canes at ground level and destroy.

Chemical control

This insect is seldom destructive enough to justify applying sprays.

Crown Borer

Hosts

All cane fruits, particularly raspberry and loganberry.

Damage

Larvae girdle new canes, causing galls at the base. These weakened canes often break off when the plants are handled. Large larvae tunnel in the fleshy part of the root, further reducing the vigour of the canes.

Identification

The day-flying adult is a clear winged moth closely resembling a yellow-jacket wasp in colour and size. The larvae are white with brown heads and are found in tunnels inside the cane or root.

Life History

This insect has a two-year life cycle. The eggs are laid in August and September on the undersides of leaves. The young larvae crawl down the canes and spend the first winter in a cell on the cane just under the soil. The next spring they bore into the base of the cane and cause swellings at or below the soil surface. They spend the second winter in their tunnels, feed from spring until July when they become pupae and then adults.

Monitoring

Watch for canes that break off in the spring. If more than 5% of the plants have hollow canes, chemical controls are recommended.

Management

Cultural control

Immediately after harvest or when setting canes on the wires, prune out loose canes and those with galls at the base. Cut back close to the crown.

Chemical control

If 5% or more of the crowns show damage, apply one of the following insecticides as a drench to the crown area (lower portion of canes) and soil beneath the plants. This treatment should be repeated in 12 months in order to control the alternate generation.

Diazinon 500 E (500 g/L diazinon) at 1 L/1000 L of water. Apply 600 mL of the mixture/plant (up to 4000 L/ha or 1600 L/acre) when new cane growth is about 10 cm above the ground. Do not re-enter treated fields within 6 days of application. Do not apply after bloom; or

Altacor (35% chlorantraniliprole) at 215 to 285 g/ha (86 to 114 g/acre) as a basal spray in enough water to ensure good coverage of primocanes. Apply in late summer or early fall to first-instar larvae when they are actively feeding in the cambium, before they tunnel into the crown or canes. Use the high rate when pest pressure is heavy. Do not apply more than 3 times per season. Do not apply more than once every 14 days. Do not apply within 3 days of harvest; or

European Blackberry Leaf Midge (Dasineura plicatrix)

Hosts

Blackberry, raspberry, loganberry

Damage

Unopened leaves on primocanes and fruiting laterals turn black and fail to open or become distorted, twisted, kinked, or creased as they attempt to expand.

Identification

Small, milky coloured legless larvae, 1 mm wide and 2-3 mm long, are found within unopened leaves. Several can be present in an infested bud. Adults are small delicate flies which are rarely seen.

Life Cycle

Adults emerge in the spring and lay eggs in unopened leaves. Larvae feed within the growing tips for about four weeks, and then drop to the soil to pupate. New adults emerge and lay eggs. There appears to be approximately three overlapping generations per year in south western BC. Larvae can be observed from mid May through late August. In late summer larvae drop to the soil and overwinter as mature larvae or pupae.

Monitoring

Look for damage on growing tips of primocanes and fruiting laterals in early May and through the summer. Damage on opening leaves can be seen all season, and tends to build up and spread through the field with each successive generation.

Management

It is not likely that this pest will reach levels high enough to affect yield as leaf midge is considered a minor pest in Europe. However, it is relatively new to BC, and may have differing impacts on crops here. If midge is present in fields it should be monitored each year to determine if population and subsequent damage is increasing.

Cultural control

There are no known naturally occurring biological control agents for leaf midge.

Chemical control

There are no chemicals specifically registered for midge, however, broad-spectrum insecticides used for raspberry fruit worm, leafhoppers or leafrollers may give some control of leaf midge. Midges are generally difficult to control with pesticides because the larvae are protected by leaves and the generations are overlapping.

Fruitworms (Raspberry Beetle)

Hosts

Raspberry, loganberry and blackberry.

Damage

The adult beetles cause some yield reduction by feeding on unfolding leaves and blossom clusters. The larvae are a contamination problem when they burrow between the core and flesh of the berries.

Identification

The small (2-3 mm) yellowish brown beetles are somewhat flattened and covered with short hairs. Larvae are white, 3-4 mm long, and have short legs.

Life History

Adult beetles overwinter in the soil, emerging from late April to early May. They feed on the new leaves, blossoms and berries, and lay eggs on or near blossom clusters and green berries. These hatch into yellowish white larvae which enter the blossoms and young berries, some feeding until harvest. Most larvae mature, leave the berry and drop to the ground where they enter the soil and pupate. Adults form in late summer and overwinter.

Monitoring

Reliable early detection techniques are not available for this pest.

Management

Chemical control

No products registered.

 

Leafrollers

Hosts

Cane fruits, strawberries, and many other plants.

Damage

The caterpillars (larvae) web and feed on terminal leaves and bore into ripening berries. During picking, these larvae may remain in the berries or drop from the bushes into the picking trays, contaminating the processed fruit. The larvae may persist throughout the season unless controlled in the spring.

Identification

Caterpillars are yellowish to green with light brown heads about 13 mm long when mature. The moths are buff with a wingspread of 13 to 19 mm.

Life History

There are several overlapping generations each year so that all stages may be found at the same time during the summer. Caterpillars overwinter in various sizes. They begin to feed as early as March.

Monitoring

Watch for webbed leaves and feeding damage on new growth in the early spring. Inspect crop thoroughly, especially on the outside edges where infestations are most likely to occur.

Management

Chemical control

If substantial numbers of early season caterpillars are detected, use one of the following. Do not apply during the blossom period.

Delegate WG (25% spinetoram) at 100 to 200 g/ha (40 to 80 g/acre) at egg hatch or to small larvae. Use the higher rate for high populations and/or larger larvae. Reapply if necessary. Delegate is toxic to bees. Do not apply when bees are actively foraging. Do not apply more than three times per year. Allow a re-treatment interval of at least 5 days. Do not apply within 1 day of harvest; or

Intrepid 240F (240 g/L methoxyfenozide) at 0.5 to 0.75 L/ha (0.2 to 0.3 L/acre). Monitor and time applications for egg hatch or when larvae are small. Use the higher rate under heavy insect pressure or when larvae are large. For leafrollers, apply before larvae roll up in leaves. Do not apply more than 3 times per year. Do not apply within 3 days of harvest; or

Sevin XLR Plus (466 g/L carbaryl) at 5.25 L/ha (2.1 L/acre). Use in 1,000 to 2,000 L/ha of water. Do not apply during the blossom period or within 11 days of harvest; or

Sevin 50W (50% carbaryl) at 4.5 kg/500 L. Use 1,100 to 2,250 L/ha of water. Do not apply within 7 days of harvest; or

Success 480SC (480 g/L spinosad) at 145 to 182 mL/ha (58 to 73 mL/acre) in 300 to 500 L/ha of water. Use the upper rate under high insect pressure and/or on large larvae. Apply a maximum of 3 times per year and do not apply within 3 days of harvest; or

Entrust 80W (80% spinosad) at 80 to 109 g/ha (32 to 44 g/acre) or Entrust SC (240 g/L spinosad) at 267 to 364 mL/ha (107 to 146 mL/acre) in 300 to 500 L/ha of water. Use the upper rate under high insect pressure and/or on large larvae. Apply a maximum of 3 times per year and do not apply within 3 days of harvest. It is OMRI approved for organic production; or

DiPel 2XDF (Bacillus thuringiensis) at 525 to 1125 g/ha (210 to 450 g/acre) in 600 L/ha of water.

 

Leafhoppers

Damage

Leafhoppers are small, slender insects, varying in colour from pale white to brownish-green. Both nymphs and adults feed on the underside of the leaves sucking sap and causing whitish spots on the upper surfaces. Heavy infestations cause severe mottling, plant collapse and loss of yield. Leafhoppers over-winter as eggs under the bark and hatch in early May. A second generation appears in late July.

Management

The larvae may persist throughout the season unless controlled in the spring.

Chemical control

Apply the first spray when blossom buds first separate and again again during the first week in August. If leafhoppers are present after harvest, apply another spray to prevent them from laying overwintering eggs under the bark of the canes.

Malathion 500 E (500 g/L malathion) at 1.25 to 2.0 L/1000 L water. Spray for thorough coverage. Repeat as necessary. Do not apply within 7 days of harvest; or

Malathion 85 E (85% malathion) at 610 to 975 mL/1000 L of water. Spray for thorough coverage. Repeat as necessary. Do not apply within 7 days of harvest; or

Note: Malathion is not effective unless temperatures are above 20°C. Do not apply malathion if bees are in the field.

Sevin XLR Plus (466 g/L carbaryl) at 5.25 L/ha (2.1 L/acre). Use in 1,000 to 2,000 L/ha of water. Do not apply during the blossom period or within 11 days of harvest; or

Sevin 50W (50% carbaryl) at 4.5 kg/500 L. Use 1100 to 2250 L/ha (440 to 900 L/acre) of water. Do not apply within 7 days of harvest; or

Admire 240F or Alias 240SC (240 g/L imidacloprid) at 175 mL/ha (70 mL/acre) as a foliar spray in enough water to obtain good coverage. Do not apply more than 3 times per season. If multiple applications are necessary, allow at least 7 days between sprays. Do not apply within 4 days of harvest; or

Note: Admire and Alias are toxic to bees. Do not apply immediately pre bloom or during bloom when bees are actively foraging.

Assail 70WP (70% acetamiprid) at  56 to 86 g/ha (22 to 34 g/acre) in enough water to obtain good coverage. Use the higher rate when pest pressure is heavy.  Do not apply more than once every 7 days.  Do not apply more than 4 times per season. Do not apply within 1 day of harvest.

Note: Assail is toxic to bees. Do not apply during bloom when bees are actively foraging. 

Sawflies

Adults are black, with yellow and reddish markings. Larvae are pale green caterpillars with white spines. They feed on the undersides and edges of leaves. They occur sporadically, seldom becoming a serious pest. For more information on this pest, refer to “Raspberries—Sawflies”.

Control

Sprays applied for leafhoppers (see above) will also control sawflies.

Spotted Wing Drosophila

Hosts

Berries, stone fruits and numerous wild hosts

Damage

Female flies lay eggs under the skin of ripe fruit. Larvae hatch and begin to feed within the fruit, causing softening in the area of feeding. There can be several larvae in a fruit, which hastens softening and fruit collapse. Holes the size of pin pricks are evident within the soft areas of infested blueberries.

Identification

Adults: 2-3 mm (1/8 inch) long, brownish with red eyes and clear fly-like wings. Males have a black/grey spot on the end of each wing, as well as two black ‘combs’ or bands on each front leg. The females do not have spots or leg bands. Females have saw-like egg-laying organs (ovipositors) that are used to cut into fruit skin. Ovipositors are easier to see when extended. A hand-lens or dissecting microscope is needed to identify ovipositor.

Eggs: 0.6 mm long, oval, white, 2 filaments at one end.

Larvae: Legless, headless, up to 6 mm long at maturity, milky-white.

Pupa: 3 mm long, brown, football-shaped, two stalks with small finger-like projections on ends.

Life History

SWD overwinter as adult flies. In spring flies become active and lay eggs in ripening fruit. Based on climate model predictions, there could be up to five generations per year in BC. Generations overlap as flies are relatively long-lived particularly at temperatures of 20°C and cooler. Based on Japanese literature, a female can lay eggs for 10-59 days, with 7-16 eggs laid per day, and average 384 eggs per female. Eggs hatch in 2-72 hours, larvae mature in 3-13 days, and pupae reside in fruit or outside of fruit for 3-15 days. In the lab at constant temperature, one generation takes 50 days at 12°C, 21-25 days at 15°C, 19 days at 18°C, 8.5 days at 25°C, and 7 days at 28°C. Adults are attracted to and feed on ripe and decaying fruit.

Monitoring

Flies can be monitored with cup-like traps baited with apple cider vinegar. Place traps when the temperature is consistently over 10°C and/or before fruit starts to ripen. Hang traps in the plant canopy in a shady location. Check traps once per week and look for the SWD adults in the bait solution. Use a hand lens or other magnifier to see the female ovipositor. Replace the bait solution each week. Suspect fruit can also be collected and inspected for larvae.

Management

Cultural control

Where practical, remove or bury cull fruit to eliminate additional feeding and breeding sites. Keep equipment and processing areas free of old fruit. Think beyond the borders of your farm and be aware of host plants in adjacent fields. Encourage neighbours to also manage for SWD. Shorten picking interval where possible: pick early, clean and often.

Biological control

To date, there are no commercially available biological controls for SWD. Research is underway to identify potential predators and/or parasites that may be useful in managing SWD.

Chemical control

Chemical control will be required if trapping shows that adult SWD flies are present in the field when berries begin to ripen. Adults are the target and are killed by direct spray contact and/or when they are exposed to residues of insecticide on the treated fruit and leaves.

Consider the following when planning a spray program:

  1. All of the recommended products are toxic to bees. Avoid application when crops are blooming and bees are in the field. If sprays are necessary during this time, they should be applied at night.
  2. Use enough water and pressure to ensure adequate coverage. Flies prefer to feed in the lower, shaded part of the canopy.
  3. Use spray equipment that will allow effective coverage. Currently, no products are registered for aerial application.
  4. To limit development of resistance, rotate between the recommended products.
  5. A 7 – 10 day spray interval may be necessary to protect fruit through the ripening period depending on temperature and pest pressure.
  6. A post-harvest spray may be necessary to prevent flies from building up on residual fruit and spreading to adjacent later ripening crops.

The following products are registered for SWD control:

Delegate WG (25% spinetoram) at 315 to 420 g/ha (126 to 168 g/acre). Do not apply more than 3 times per year. Allow a re-treatment interval of at least 7 days. Do not apply within 1 day of harvest; or

Entrust SC (240 g/L spinosad) at 333 to 444 mL/ha (133 to 178 mL/acre). Minimum re-treatment interval is 5 days. It is OMRI approved for organic production. Do not apply more than 3 times per year and do not apply with 1 day of harvest.

Exirel (100 g/L cyantraniliprole) at 1000 to 1500 mL/ha (400 to 600 mL/acre) in enough water to obtain good coverage. Do not apply more than 4 times per season or a maximum of 4.5 L/ha (1.8 L/acre). Allow a re-treatment interval of about 5 days. Do not apply within 1 day of harvest; or

The following products received emergency registrations for SWD control in 2017:

Mako EC (407 g/L cypermethrin) at 150 mL/ha (60 mL/acre).  Apply only once per crop per year.  Apply between June 1 and November 30, 2017. Do not apply within 2 days of harvest; or

Note: Maximimum residue limit of cypermethrin in fruit in Canada is 0.1 ppm. Consult with your packer before using Mako.

Malathion 85E (85% malathion) at 1 L/ha (400 mL/acre) in 1000 L of water. Apply when the temperature is 20°C or more. Apply between June 1 and November 30, 2017. Do not apply more than 2 times per year. Do not apply within 1 day of harvest.

For more information see supporting document: Spotted Wing Drosophila Brochure

Thrips

Hosts

All cane fruits.

Damage

Thrips seldom cause extensive damage but their presence in the fruit is objectionable for marketing.

Identification

Thrips are very small, slender usually dark-coloured insects.

Life History

Thrips overwinter in the soil at the base of the canes, In the spring they attack the leaves, buds and flowers. They are most abundant during July and August.

Management

Chemical control

Malathion 85 E (85% malathion) at 610 to 975 mL/1000 L of water. Spray for thorough coverage. Repeat as necessary. Do not apply within 7 days of harvest; or

Malathion 500 EC (500 g/L malathion) at 1.25 to 2.0 L/1000 L of water. Spray for thorough coverage. Repeat as necessary. Do not apply within 7 days of harvest. Malathion is not effective unless temperatures are above 20°C. Do not apply malathion if bees are in the field.

Sprays applied for leafhoppers (see above) will also control thrips.

 

Two-spotted Spider Mites

Hosts

All blackberry varieties are susceptible to mite infestations. Pressue is most severe on crops in tunnels.

Damage

Two-spotted spider mites cause damage to the leaves, particularly during prolonged warm periods. They usually feed on the lower leaf surface, resulting in a whitish flecking on the upper surface. Heavy infestations can result in leaves drying up and dropping off.

Identification

Two-spotted spider mites are very tiny. From April to October, they are pale yellow to green, and females have two large black spots on the back and sides of the body. Orange overwintering females appear in late September and October. Fine silk webbing is typically present on the underside of the leaves infested with mites.

Life History

In March, the spider mites begin feeding and egg-laying on the newly emerging leaves. Eggs hatch in one to two weeks and the immature mites become reproductive adults in another one to three weeks. Mites develop faster at higher temperatures so more generations occur and numbers may increase rapidly in hot weather, particularly if native predators have been eliminated by broad-spectrum insecticides.

Monitoring

Start inspecting leaves for spider mites and mite predators in early May. Sample at least every two weeks during May and June. White speckling is a sign of mite feeding. Turn over leaves with these symptoms and examine for mites and mite predators. Use a 10 X power hand lens. Sample from four well-distributed sites per field and inspecting 10 leaflets at each site. Keep records of the date, field area and sampling results for each inspection. Include spider mites and mite predators. No threshold levels are established for applying control sprays; however, strawberry thresholds provide some guidelines (see Strawberry section in this guide). Field history and ratio of predators to pest mites needs to be considered.

Have a knowledgeable person help identify the beneficial mites and two-spotted mites.

Management

Biological control

The relatively lesser effect of mites on blakberries than on strawberries means that greater reliance can be placed on natural controls such as predatory mites (Amblyseius fallacis) and beetles (Stethorus punctillum). If these biological control agents are present in sufficient numbers, they should adequately control spider mites.

If predators are not present due to sprays or because the planting is new, Amblyseius and Stethorus can be purchased and introduced. Preliminary tests show that a minimum of 7,000 Amblyseius/acre should be released. Apply higher rates on fields with a history of high spider mite populations. Release predators in new fields when leaves are growing and touching between the canes.

To decrease the number of predators required, they can be released into the mite ‘hotspots’, instead of applied to the whole field.

Contact your crop consultant, supplier or BCAGRI for details on releasing biological control agents.

Chemical control

Alternate between the recommended products below to prevent mite resistance from developing.

Acramite 50WS (50% bifenazate) at 851 g/ha (340 g/acre) in a minimum of 500 L/ha (200 L/acre) of water and with enough pressure to ensure coverage on both sides of the leaves. Apply when mite populations begin to build. Do not apply more than once per season. For resistance management, rotate the use of Acramite and other Group 25 miticides with products from different groups. Do not apply within 1 day of harvest; or

Note: Acramite is not acceptable for some markets. Check with your packer before using

Kanemite 15 SC (15.8 % acequinocyl) at 2.07 L/ha (0.83 L/acre) in enough water and pressure to ensure good coverage on both sides of the leaves. Apply when mite populations begin to build. For resistance management, rotate the use of Kanemite and other Group 20B miticides with products from different groups. Allow a minimum 21 days between applications. Do not apply within 1 day of harvest; or

Note: Kanemite is not acceptable for some markets. Check with your packer before using

Agri-mek 1.9 % EC (19 g/L abamectin) at 1.0 L/ha (0.4 L/acre) in at least 375 L/ha (150 L/acre) of water. Make the first application when mites first appear. Allow a minimum or 7 days between applications.  Do not apply more than three times before harvest, and more than two times post-harvest. Do not apply within 7 days of harvest.

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