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General Information

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This guide is intended for commercial farmers to provide information on pest management practices for small fruit crops in New England. Both chemical and non-chemical pest control measures are suggested. Whenever possible, the use of integrated pest management (IPM) practices is encouraged. General concepts of IPM are described in the “Integrated Pest Management” section of this guide. Contact your state small fruit or pest management specialists for details regarding specific crops.

All pesticides listed in this publication are registered and cleared for suggested uses according to federal and state regulations in effect on the date of this publication. Occasionally there are materials that are not registered in all New England States.  This is rare.  Check with your states' Regulatory Agency when in doubt.  Also, pesticide labels are constantly changing. It is still required that applicators read the labels carefully before application to be sure of restrictions and rates.

Trade names are used for identification only; no product endorsement is implied, nor is discrimination intended against similar materials.

The user of this information assumes all risks for personal injury or property damage. If the information in this guide does not agree with the current labeling, follow the label instructions. The label is the law.

WARNING! Pesticides are poisonous. Read and follow all direction and safety precautions on labels before using. Handle pesticides carefully and store out of reach of children, pets, and livestock. Dispose of empty containers immediately in a safe manner and place. Contact your state Department of Agriculture for current regulations.

Berry Crops at a Glance

Below are some vital statistics relevant to several small fruit crops. Many factors including site suitability, time commitment and market strategies will have to be thoroughly researched before entering into a small fruit enterprise. Consult with local growers, Extension Specialists, and others to help determine the suitability of a small fruit enterprise. Books and guides can also be very helpful in answering questions about small fruit production. See the resource list at the end of this guide for some useful books and guides.

Table 1. General information for some small fruit crops.
  Strawberry Summer Raspberry Blackberry Blueberry Grape
Expected Yield 10-20,000 lb/A 2-7,000 lb/A 3-7,000 lb/A 6-12,000 lb/A 6-12,000 lb/A
Age to maturity 2 years 3 years 3 years 6-8 years 3-4 years
Life of planting 3-5 years 8-12 years 5-10 years 30+ years 20+ years
Hardiness -15˚F (covered) -10˚F 0˚F - 20˚F 0 to -25˚F*
Optimal pH 5.5-6.5 (6.2) 5.8-7.0 (6.5) 5.5-7.0 (6.5) 4.8-5.2 (5.0) 5.5-7.0 (6.5)
Typical Spacing 1.5’ x 4’ 2’ x 8’ 3’ x 10’ 5’ x 10’ 8’ x 12’
Plants/Acre 7,260 6,300 1,950 1,060 550

*Depending on cultivar