Southeast regional report on Michigan fruit – May 14, 2012

Tree fruit growers should be on the watch for apple scab, codling moth and plum curculio, and strawberry growers should keep an eye out for slugs.

There are three items for tree fruit growers and one for strawberry growers that I want to bring to your attention. Look for a complete fruit crop update tomorrow, May 15, at MSU Extension News for Fruit.

Apple scab

Most of the region had a long apple scab infection period on Saturday and Sunday morning (May 12-13), and both of our apple scab spore monitoring stations in the region had spore catch. This means that we are still in primary apple scab season, and that scab control measures still need to be taken, even in apple blocks that have no crop for 2012.

The number of spores has dropped off considerably, so we are nearing an end of primary apple scab. I expect to see the end in a few weeks, but the weather needs to play itself out to determine the actual end to primary apple scab season. I know that most of our east Michigan apple growers do not have an apple crop, but you need to be sure that this disease does not get a foot hold that could be a problem for your 2013 apple crop. I am monitoring this end of primary apple season even more closely this year than any other year because growers are interested in finishing up their pest control for the season.

Codling moth

Mid- to late last week we had a big catch of codling moths in traps, and even some high catches in mating disruption blocks. It is too early for control measures to be taken, but I want you to be alert to this pest if you have an apple crop. Look for more details in tomorrow’s Fruit Crop Update. Be sure to check your traps if you are scouting for this pest.

Plum curculio

On Friday of last week (May 11), I started to see my first egglaying scars or “fruit stings” from this pest. If you have a light fruit crop, this pest will find those fruit and the percentage of damage will be greater than in a normal season.

Slugs

Strawberry growers need to be on the lookout for signs of slugs in strawberries. As of yesterday (May 13), I am just starting to see the number of slugs increase. The long rain event on Saturday at most farms caused them to be on the move.

If you need to see me at your farm for a farm visit, don’t hesitate to contact me via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or call my office at 810-244-8555 or my cell at 810-516-3800.

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