I have been visiting with strawberry growers over the past couple of weeks and the crop looks good. Growth is not as vigorous as we usually see for this time of year, but the color is good. Some growers are reporting lots of blooms without abundant foliage. If you are a strawberry producer, what are you seeing?
Above: Strawberry plant in Mills River (Henderson County) taken March 21
In addition, I have been seeing two spotted spider mites, and the populations have been over the economic threshold which is 5 mites/leaflet in a sample of 10 leaflets/acre. To learn more about two spotted spider mite thresholds and management, please review Dr. Hannah Burrack's blogpost from March 1, What to watch for: strawberry update.
In addition, don't forget to watch out for the spotted wing drosophila. With the warm temperatures we are experiencing this season, it is possible that we may see these pests in our strawberry crop. It is a very good idea for you to consider setting out traps and scouting for this pest. To learn more about the spotted wing drosophila, trapping and monitoring, identification, management and the monitoring network visit Dr. Burrack's blog: http://ncsmallfruitsipm.blogspot.com/p/spotted-wing-drosophila.html