Since the first few months of the year have been warmer than usual, growers should be preparing for preemergence herbicide applications earlier this season. Typically herbicides are applied late March through early April. Based on the movement of many other plant species, I would recommend that preemergence applications go out before the end of March and preferably before that, if possible.
Heads are going out on many bogs in preparation for any upcoming frost protection events. It is highly recommended that you have heads in place by the 25th if not sooner. The CCCGA Frost Committee will be meeting on March 19 to assess the status of buds and determine start date for their message service. Carolyn has looked at a few buds and thus far they do not appear to have moved from their winter hardiness status. However, a quick drive around the industry indicates that the early varieties are starting to lose their full dormant color; this is normally not seen until early April.
Both Carolyn and Frank think that this is NOT a good year for late water. If you do intend to use late water, the flood should be in place before the vines green up or soon thereafter.
Our best guess is that we are about 3 weeks ahead of average.
Winter moth is expected to hatch earlier than usual, likely as early as next week (March 19) at the earliest. The Entomology lab will be monitoring blueberries, other upland areas and bogs and will make updates to this message as needed.