Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath

Hurricane Sandy southeast of Cape Hatteras, NC, October, 27, 2012. Source: http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2279
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: Gina_Fernandez@ncsu.edu

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