It is time to be thinking about fertilizer applications. The rate used will vary by cultivar, previous summer tissue tests and historic bog response. Aim to provide enough Nitrogen to produce an optimal stand of uprights (density and length) that will support good quality fruit. A thin, stunted stand will not have adequate leaf area, leading to a shortage of carbohydrates for making fruit. If the upright stand is too dense or too long, it obstructs pollinators, causes shading and higher retention of relative humidity, which encourages fruit rot fungal infections.
As you are purchasing and making plans for upcoming fruit rot applications, in compliance with your handler and fungicide label recommendations, incorporate the fungicide resistance management strategies such as alternating or mixing of fungicides with different modes of action. Use the FRAC (Fungicide Resistance Action Committee) codes on the labels to determine the mode of action. Fungicides with the same FRAC codes have similar modes of action. Follow ALL label instructions, including application interval and the recommended rates.
Regarding scouting: Winter moth or green spanworm, that is the question. Several growers have reported high (10-30 count) spanworm in sweeps. Winter moth is more widespread than we had predicted but generally at low levels. Management should not be considered unless you see high counts (>18 average over the whole bog) and of the options (Delegate, Avaunt, Orthene, Sevin), there is little consensus for which is best.
Gypsy moth, false armyworm, blossomworm, black headed fireworm (and even Sparganothis) have all been seen, but again, all in low numbers.
Weevil numbers have been found over threshold in some cases and have been treated by some growers with Actara. Surprisingly however, many sites where they had been bad in the past have not turned up close last years’ high numbers! The weather continues to make sweeping and management difficult.