Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Scientists find aphid resistance in black raspberry

Here is a link to an article about research from the USDA-ARS group in Corvallis. Scientists find aphid resistance in black raspberry

This is the work that inspired our current black raspberry project.

Why is this research important? As they mention at the end of the article, aphids transmit viruses and viruses can be deleterious to plants.

We will be looking at black raspberry populations related to those in the USDA study back here in NC. Part of our task will be to look for additional traits that will be of economic importance. What will those traits be? Well, we are not sure at this time, we have lots of ideas and we will keep you posted!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath

Hurricane Sandy southeast of Cape Hatteras, NC, October, 27, 2012. Source:
As Hurricane Sandy starts to slip northward, there are some things that caneberry growers in NC and adjacent states should think about. First if you are in eastern NC, you may have wet soils. If your soils tend to stay wet, caneberry plants do not like wet feet. I asked Dr. Phil Brannen Plant Pathologist, from UGA, and here are his thoughts on diseases:

"Assuming that drainage is good, long-term saturated soils could still result in root rot from Phytophthora, but I have rarely seen this in well-drained soils.  Assuming that there is a risk, Ridomil Gold SL can be applied through drip tape; phosphonates could be applied foliarly, assuming that leaves are still active.  There would be no harm in either of these actions, and application of a fungicide could provide some breathing room till the soils dry out.  The plantings may be too wet for a tractor and sprayer to enter for some time, so all applications may be delayed (unless drip-tape Ridomil is the preferred route)."

He also mentioned pruning and leaf spots:  "Any open, fresh wounds would be susceptible to cane blight, but there is really limited value in spraying a fungicide days after pruning -- especially if it has been wet for days already (infections would likely have already occurred).  Not sure therefore of the value of spraying for cane blight at this point, but some systemic fungicides may provided limited kickback if applied within a couple of days.  

Relative leaf spots, I suspect we are far enough along towards leaf fall that we would not currently worry about these."

If you are in western NC, and you are growing fall fruiting red raspberries, your season like ours came to an end abruptly today with the snowfall in the mountains. (We pulled the plastic off late last week in anticipation of this storm). We had a nice crop of berries under high tunnels still producing fruit. Most of our early and mid season primocane fruiting cultivars were done, however, Nantahala had a week or so left and Nova had a couple of weeks left. Our harvest crew was not too upset.

The winds have been strong and may blow some of the leaves off your plants. This is a bit early, but in general the plants have finished the majority of their root building for the season and the lost leaves will not impact your plants too much. Winds can also do damage to your trellises and plants may be laying on the ground. Get the plants up and off the ground as soon as possible and as Phil mentioned, hold off on pruning, until you can get a fungicide on.

Those are my thoughts for now. Let me know if you have any particular questions or concerns:

Monday, October 22, 2012

NC Small Fruit & Specialty Crop IPM: Kudzu bugs on caneberries?

We saw some new bugs on our plots last week. Here is Dr. Hannahs Buracks, NCSU Entomologists response:

NC Small Fruit & Specialty Crop IPM: Kudzu bugs on caneberries?: Kudzu bugs ( Megacoptera criberia ) on raspberry plants at the Piedmont Research Station, Salisbury, NC. Photo: PRS. My Monday morning ...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Plant breeding at NCSU

The Center for Plant Breeding and Applied Genetics at NCSU recently put together a video highlighting the depth of the program and impact of plant breeding has in NC and beyond. Here is a link to the Center's website:

Here is a link to a video:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

New Fresh Market Caneberry Production Manual

The University of California Cooperative Extension has just published a new Caneberry production manual.  Authors Mark Bolda, Mark Gaskell, Michael Cahn and Elizabeth Mitcham have compiled a manual aimed at the California growing system, but many of the chapters have information that would be of use to southeast US growers (e.g. plant description, flowering and fruit production, harvest and handling etc). With over 90 color photos, it will give insight into how things are done in CA. The manual is $25. If you follow the link below, they are offering a 10% discount with a promotion code on this blog:

PS IF you have not checked out this blog before, do so soon, it is packed with great information.

Websites and Seasonal checklists

Every 4 months I post a list of chores for caneberry/bramble growers on the Blackberry and Raspberry Growers Portal, here is a link to that site, the link to the Seasonal Checklist is always on the opening page of this website:

The same list is also published in the Southern Region Small Fruits Newsletter. This is a quarterly publication that has articles written by members of the six Universities that are part of this consortium. Here is a link to that newsletter.

I suggest you clip the list and post it by your computer, then you will always have it readily available to look at as a reminder of things to do.