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Friday, August 31, 2012

Welcome, Bill Cline!

Bill Cline describing Blueberry Stunt, Red Ringspot Virus, & Stem Blight the 2011 Blueberry Field Day. Photo: HJB
As you may have noticed below, NC State Plant Pathologist and overall blueberry expert, Bill Cline has joined the blog and will be posting updates on blueberry insects.  Bill is much closer to the heart of North Carolina blueberry production than I am, so I am excited that he will be able to share insect sightings as they happen.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Flea beetle damage on blueberries

Flea beetle damage has been observed on unsprayed blueberry plots at the NCSU Horticultural Crops Research Station in Castle Hayne.  Feeding is mostly on new succulent shoots that have emerged following post-harvest summer pruning (hedging), so these are next year's bearing shoots that need to retain their leaves in order to set flower buds for the 2013 crop. Much of the damage is cosmetic, but where shoots are completely defoliated, or the shoots themselves are eaten, yield will be reduced in 2013.

 Flea beetles are rarely a problem on blueberry in North Carolina, but are more widely observed (and reported) on blueberry in Florida and Georgia.