Cal Poly Strawberry Center Disease Diagnostic Service

About the plant disease diagnostic service Soil-borne pathogens such as Macrophomina phaseolina are challenging strawberry production as they become increasingly prevalent across California (Fig. 1). Accurate disease diagnosis is the cornerstone of integrated pest management. The Strawberry Center’s disease diagnostic service has been serving California strawberry … Continue reading Cal Poly Strawberry Center Disease Diagnostic Service

A bumper crop of lygus: 7 facts about lygus bugs you may not have known

This summer we’ve experienced high levels of lygus infestation, especially in the Santa Maria and Oxnard growing districts. It’s a good time to review some basic lygus biology. 1. There are 19 species of Lygus in California; however, only two species can be regularly found in … Continue reading A bumper crop of lygus: 7 facts about lygus bugs you may not have known

New research shows 1,3-D is effective against Macrophomina

A new publication by Baggio et al. (2022) out of the University of Florida provides evidence that 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) alone and in mixture with chloropicrin were more effective in reducing inoculum of Macrophomina phaseolina than chloropicrin alone. We generally think of 1,3-D (known under the trade … Continue reading New research shows 1,3-D is effective against Macrophomina

Predatory mite bottle counts for 2021-2022 update: Spider mite biocontrol in California strawberries: Part 2

Strawberry growers requested quality checks on the predatory mite products they were buying since they felt the numbers promised on the label did not always match the number of live mites they actually received. Here I summarize the samples we have received so far from January … Continue reading Predatory mite bottle counts for 2021-2022 update: Spider mite biocontrol in California strawberries: Part 2

JUST PUBLISHED: Fungicide performance against powdery mildew, 2021

The results of two powdery mildew fungicide trials conducted in 2021 were just published in Plant Disease Management Reports. In these trials, 17 unique products were evaluated for performance against powdery mildew under greenhouse conditions (Fig. 1). Weekly disease incidence and severity was assessed one day … Continue reading JUST PUBLISHED: Fungicide performance against powdery mildew, 2021

RECENTLY PUBLISHED: Fungicide resistance in strawberry powdery mildew in California

Strawberry powdery mildew caused by Podosphaera aphanis, is an important disease in California strawberries (Fig. 1). Strawberry Center master’s student Michael Palmer recently published his work on fungicide resistance in the journal Plant Disease (https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-12-20-2604-RE). Because P. aphanis is an “obligate parasite” all of the experiments … Continue reading RECENTLY PUBLISHED: Fungicide resistance in strawberry powdery mildew in California

JUST PUBLISHED: Fungicide performance against Botrytis fruit rot 2021

The results of two fungicide trials conducted in 2021 were just published in Plant Disease Management Reports. In these trials, 20 unique products were evaluated for performance against Botrytis fruit rot (Fig. 1). After 5 applications (Fig. 2), fruit were evaluated in the field (at-harvest) and … Continue reading JUST PUBLISHED: Fungicide performance against Botrytis fruit rot 2021

An Automated Harvesting Update: Harvest CROO Robotics, Traptic, and Advanced Farms

Harvest costs represent over 70% of operating costs/acre to produce strawberries in California (UC Davis Cost Study, 2021). With the passing of SB-3 minimum wage increase requirements in 2016, the California Strawberry Commission has recognized labor-saving automation as the industry’s leading research priority. By 2018, there … Continue reading An Automated Harvesting Update: Harvest CROO Robotics, Traptic, and Advanced Farms

Frost injury

Recent frosts at the Cal Poly farm has brought frost injury in all its variety. According to the Compendium of Strawberry Diseases “frost injury is probably the most common non-pathogen related and non-insect-related disorder affecting strawberry flowers and fruit.” Whenever temperatures dip to below freezing, expect … Continue reading Frost injury

JUST PUBLISHED: Strawberry host plant resistance to powdery mildew

Michael Palmer finished his master’s thesis last winter and his second paper just appeared in the journal Plant Health Progress (https://doi.org/10.1094/PHP-12-20-0101-RS). This paper works out the methods for screening strawberry cultivars for their susceptibility to powdery mildew caused by Podosphaera aphanis. Michael screened 10 strawberry cultivars … Continue reading JUST PUBLISHED: Strawberry host plant resistance to powdery mildew

“How many predatory mites are in there?” Spider mite biocontrol in California strawberries: Part 1

Many strawberry growers in California have happily embraced biological control to help them manage their ever-growing spider mite populations in both their organic and conventional fields by releasing commercially grown predatory mites (PM). However, some have expressed concern over the control they are seeing (Fig. 1) … Continue reading “How many predatory mites are in there?” Spider mite biocontrol in California strawberries: Part 1

Let’s get started!

Welcome to the Cal Poly Strawberry Center BLOGThis idea started at our 2021 Field Day where almost 100 growers and PCAs signed up to receive research updates from the Strawberry Center. We added another 180 people to the list since then. We’re glad you’re here and are excited … Continue reading Let’s get started!