<![CDATA[Site Title]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/ Sat, 01 Apr 2023 03:55:57 GMT Sat, 01 Apr 2023 03:55:57 GMT LemonStand <![CDATA[Greetings from Whately]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postgreetings-from-whately-spring-2023 https://noursefarms.com/news/postgreetings-from-whately-spring-2023 Wed, 15 Mar 2023 00:00:00 GMT Optimistic.

This is how I would describe the future of our industry. Over the last few months, I have traveled to visit customers, attend trade shows, and sit in on conferences.  Despite everyone being impacted by the rising expenses of conducting business operations in 2022, it appears the demand for local food has not softened. Growers are reporting that it’s a lack of product, not a lack in market demand, as their major challenge. We want you to know we hear you, loud and clear.

These conversations have left me feeling hopeful and confi dent for what lies ahead. As always, we at Nourse Farms are dedicated to your success. As you navigate today’s interesting business climate, we are here for you. Whether you need new plants, growing advice or want to collaborate on a future growth plan – we are here for you.

Welcome to our 2023 Newsletter. We are looking forward to serving you this year.

Best Regards,


John Place
Chief Executive Officer
jplace@noursefarms.com This newsletter

Posted in: Newsletter, Newsletter Greeting

<![CDATA[Five Points to Prepare]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postfive-points-to-prepare-spring-2023 https://noursefarms.com/news/postfive-points-to-prepare-spring-2023 Wed, 15 Mar 2023 00:00:00 GMT 1 -  IMPORTANT: RUNNER REMOVAL IN PLASTICULTURE STRAWBERRY PRODUCTION
Plasticulture strawberry production has continued to grow in popularity in North America in recent years. For new growers or those converting from matted-row production, runner removal can seem a costly practice. However it is essential to optimize fruit production.

Runners act as an energy sink on their monther plant, reducing resources that support fruit bud development. They also interfere with cultivation and pest control. Runner reduction increases berry size and fruit numbers per plant. 

A trial conducted in Ontario showed that runner removal (once, three times and weekly for two months) increased both total yield and marketable yield of spring planted ‘Albion’ during the planting year. This included a 37% - 45% increase in total yields of derunnered plants over plants with no runner removal.

Similarly, a study in the Netherlands saw a 15% increase in planting year yields of derunnered plants, but a decrease in yields on plants with leaf removal. This increased yield was compared to the total yield of plants where no runners were removed, and these runners contributed to the total yield of the plants.

Runner removal should be done regularly, as often as weekly, but even removing runners just three times during the season can increase yields compared to only one removal or no removal.


Data shows that 93% of consumers have used online reviews to guide purchases, and 81% of consumers use Google to evaluate local businesses before visiting. Today, there are countless platforms available for customers to leave reviews; Google, Dave’s Garden, Yelp, Facebook, TripAdvisor, Better Business Bureau, to name a few.

Good or bad, these reviews can be used to your advantage.

Harness the power of positive reviews by showcasing them in your catalog and on your website. Tell customers where they can find reviews and encourage satisfied customers to post reviews of their own.

Use common words or phrases from positive reviews in taglines on your website, driving more customers to your page.

Negative reviews can be useful tools in determining where you may be falling short on satisfying customers. Use these reviews as an opportunity to improve on products or processes that may not be working for you. Include customer feedback in your employee trainings.

Engage with customer reviews. Take advantage of the opportunity to offer a solution to an unhappy customer and built rapport with happy customers.

Reviews are out there, and we believe that paying attention to consumer insights is an indisputable benefit to any business.


3 - Maximizing Herbicide Effectiveness
Many factors impact the effectiveness of herbicides.

• Sprayer calibration is important.  Be sure your spray tips are not worn, as that will result in uneven application. Some labels call for 3 ounces of material: a small amount in a 100-gallon tank. Proper calibration assures that you are applying enough, but not too much. Your sprayer manufacturer or your local Extension Service will have guidelines for calibrating your sprayer properly.

• The pH and water quality of your spray water will also affect performance of herbicides. There are many kits to test water’s pH; better kits will provide a more accurate reading. Your herbicide’s label will also indicate the correct pH for the most effective results. High levels of calcium and magnesium in hard water can negatively impact effectiveness; there are a variety of products available to soften water.

• Avoid overlapping when applying herbicides.
Referring to the 3 ounces in the first item, overlapping doubles the rate. This could result in crop injury.

• Be aware of wind conditions. Herbicide drift can cause damage to a neighboring crop. Do not apply when wind is above 5 miles an hour.

Follow safety rules as outlined on product label to ensure proper PPE (Person Protective Equipment) and re-entry interval. Be cautious when mixing, and making spray applications.

• Properly identify your predominant weeds and their growth stage. Herbicides can have different levels of effectiveness based on the weed stage. Consult the label for the appropriate growth stage for application.

Numerous studies over several years have demonstrated the efficacy of OxiDate® 2.0 and OxiDate® 5.0 on many pathogens on multiple crops: powdery mildew on grapes and strawberries, yellow rust on red raspberries, and anthracnose on blueberries. Adding OxiDate 5.0 to a spray program reduces disease in the field, and also improves control of spotted wing drosophila (SWD) in these small fruit crops. In a study conducted by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada on SWD, OxiDate 2.0 indirectly contributed to the control of SWD 1. Applying OxiDate 2.0 prior to Malathion reduced larvae, pupae, and adult SWD on cherries better than applying Malathion first, or no treatment at all. By reducing microbial populations (yeasts, bacteria) on the surfaces of fruit, OxiDate 2.0 likely improved the efficacy of the insecticides and deterred oviposition 2.

In 2013, Cornell University labs demonstrated that a 1% (v/v) solution of OxiDate 2.0 on blueberries had a direct impact on controlling eggs, adult SWD, and larval presence in berries by 56% 3. Here, OxiDate 2.0 burned eggs lying on the fruit surface and burned breathing tubes of eggs under the fruit surface 4. Another study at Cornell University demonstrated that applying antimicrobials such as OxiDate 2.0 with
insecticides during grape ripening significantly controls sour rot better than using OxiDate 2.0 alone or insecticide alone 5. Sour rot can be difficult to control because it results from multiple microbes, including yeasts and bacteria, and is spread by SWD; using simultaneous treatments can cover all the bases more effectively.

The best SWD management plan is an aggressive sequence of effective chemistry that protects plants and fruit from all channels of infestation. Often, one chemistry isn’t enough; adding microbial elements to a spray program strengthens all your defensive protections. Both OxiDate 2.0 and OxiDate 5.0 provide additional control of SWD populations in fruit and berry crops by working in tandem with insecticides. PAA (Peracetic Acid) products like OxiDate can reduce SWD populations by burning eggs’ breathing tubes. Reducing desirable yeasts on the surface of the berries deprives SWD of their food source and prohibits the yeasts from breaking down the insecticide, increasing insecticide longevity. The addition of OxiDate 2.0 or OxiDate 5.0 to a typical spray program can enhance disease control as well as SWD control, improving fruit quality at harvest.

5 - Storage & Holding of Dormant Plants
Here at Nourse Farms, we pack, hold, and ship our plants in their dormant stage for spring planting. Our plants perform best when planted into warm soil, after the risk of hard frost has passed. When growers receive plants, they should plant within 2 - 3 days of receipt. So, what do you do when they are received when conditions may not be suitable for immediate planting? 

For a short duration, up to 7 - 10 days, plants can be held in a standard walk-in cooler at 35ºF - 40ºF. For durations longer than 10 days, plants must be held at a consistent 28ºF to maintain dormancy. If plants cannot be held at temperature, they should be potted. Potted plants should be allowed to root well before transplanting to reduce shock.

Upon receipt, check the condition of the plants. Bareroot strawberry and raspberry plants are shipped in a plastic bag with moistened shredded paper added to prevent the roots from drying out. Check that paper has not dried and moisten slightly if necessary. Asparagus plants are susceptible to storage molds and should be kept dry. If mold is noticed at receipt, remove the crowns from the box and lay them out in a single layer, out of direct sunlight. After 2 - 3 hours, they can be put back into the box and moved into cold storage.


1, 2 Murali-Mohan Ayyanath, Cheryl L. Zurowski, Ian M. Scott, and
Kenna E. MacKenzie. 2017. Report on the Effect of OxiDate 2.0 for Suppressing
Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) Populations. Agriculture and
Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Summerland RDC, BC, Canada.
3 Jentsch, Peter J. et al. 2013. Evaluation BioSafe Products for
Controlling SWD on Blueberry. Cornell University’s Hudson Valley Laboratory,
Highland, NY 12528.
4 Jentsch, Peter J. and Lampasona, Tim. 2013. Evaluation BioSafe
Products for Controlling SWD on Blueberry. Cornell University’s Hudson
Valley Laboratory, Highland, NY 12528.
5 Megan E. Hall, Gregory M. Loeb, and Wayne F. Wilcox. 2018. Control
of Sour Rot Using Chemical and Canopy Management Techniques. Am.
J. Enol. Vitic. 69:4.


Posted in: Newsletter, Nourse Favorites!

<![CDATA[Planting Tips for the Best Success!]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postplanting-tips-for-the-best-success https://noursefarms.com/news/postplanting-tips-for-the-best-success Wed, 15 Mar 2023 00:00:00 GMT Proper planting depth and technique is critical to success. One of the most common causes of planting failures we run into is improper planting technique. Below are our planting recommendations for best success.



Bareroot Strawberry

Strawberry leaves, roots, runners, and fruit all develop from the crown. Bareroot strawberry plants should be planted so that the middleof the crown is level with the soil surface. It isimportant that the roots are planted straight down and are not bent at the bottom. Be sure to dig a hole deep enough to accommodate all of the roots or use a tool such as the Nourse Farms Strawberry Planting Tool to push the roots into the soil. Care should be taken to maintain good soil contact and ensure soil is pressed firmly around the crown, but not hard-packed.




Bareroot Raspberry

Raspberries develop new growth/canes from their shallow root systems. Dig a trench 3 - 4” and set raspberry roots horizontally along the trench, ensuring there is no more than 1 - 1½” of soil covering the roots. If using a plastic mulch in the planting year, best results can be achieved by setting the raspberry plants first and then laying plastic over them, poking the sticks through the plastic. It is critical that the roots are not set too deep, as this can prevent new growth and result in plant failure.



Blackberry/Black Raspberry Plugs 

Blackberries and black raspberries generate new cane growth from the crown. Like red raspberries, it is important that they are not planted too deep. Blackberry a nd black raspberry plants will arrive as a dormant plug. Plug plants should be set so that the top of the plug is approximately ½” below the soil surface






Asparagus plants send new spears from the roots each spring, so they should be planted deep enough to avoid early emergence, but not too deep to prevent emergence all together. Dig a furrow 6 – 8” deep. Lay roots horizontally along the bottom of the furrow and cover with approximately 2” of soil. As spears emerge and grow up out of the trench, gradually back fi ll the trench with soil until it is completely filled.







We recommend planting rhubarb into heavily composted soil. Rhubarb plants will arrive from us as root divisions and you will find buds nestled in a protective layer of dark, papery husks. Set divisions in the ground with buds pointing up, approximately ½” below the soil surface. Be sure to maintain good soil contact and avoid breaking the buds.





Horseradish roots will arrive with a fl at cut end and a slanted cut end. Set horseradish in the ground at a 45 degree angle with the fl at end up and the slanted end down, 1 - 2” below the soil surface.  


Posted in: Asparagus Production, Bramble Production, Newsletter, Strawberry Production

<![CDATA[Small Fruit Winter Injury Update]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postsmall-fruit-winter-injury-update-2023 https://noursefarms.com/news/postsmall-fruit-winter-injury-update-2023 Wed, 15 Mar 2023 00:00:00 GMT Strawberries
The duration of cold temperatures, the amount of snow cover you may have had at the time, and the amount of straw mulch applied are all factors that can influence the amount of damage caused. This can range from mild injury, causing reduction in vigor, all the way to extensive damage that is of major concern.

To assess your damage, take the following steps:

• Go out now and sample your field; take plants from across the bed, outside edges to the center.

• Cut open the strawberry crown from top to bottom (vertically), rather than crosswise (horizontally) to determine the extent of damage.

• Immediately evaluate the color of the crown – with no winter injury the crown should have a creamy-white color.


Injury levels

Mild injury would result in a brown flecking inside the cut crown.
The deeper the brown coloration in the crown, the more damage is indicated.  Plants will grow out of this medium damaged condition and can produce a normal crop.







Major or extensive damage would result in the crown having a dark brown color and corky texture.
This condition is the most concerning and requires careful spring management of the field. Damage needs to be managed carefully to
harvest the best crop; this includes:

• Minimizing stress to the plant. The efficiency of the plant to make use of water and nutrients may be reduced because the conduction tissues have been impacted.

• Maintaining good moisture levels. 1 - 2 inches per week, through the harvest period, which allows the damaged tissue to absorb the required moisture.

• Managing fertilizer applications. Light nutrient applications, either ground applications of granular nitrogen or foliar applications with spring fungicides. Depending on the degree of damage, a range of 15 - 30 pounds of actual nitrogen per acre would be effective by “spoon feeding” small amounts over several applications.

Closely monitoring moisture levels and nutrient applications through the harvest period is critical to maximize your yield from these stressed plants.




With raspberries and blackberries, winter injury can appear in a variety of ways. Very cold temperatures during the winter can kill overwintering floricanes and damage the crown and root system in extreme cases. Late frost in spring can result in injury or even death of flower buds on floricane-fruiting varieties, drastically impacting yield. The most typical form of winter injury, however, results from fluctuating temperatures during the dormant season. This injury occurs after plants have achieved their chilling requirements and are no longer fully dormant. Variable temperatures during the winter tend to damage less coldtolerant tissue. March can often be when injury occurs as you see more fluctuating temperatures, rather than in mid-winter when plants are totally dormant.

Winter injury typically kills or damages the overwintering floricanes but not new primocanes. There are a variety of methods for assessing winter injury that allow you to evaluate the extent prior to spring pruning. One of the simplest methods includes cutting buds lengthwise (tip to base), as buds have begun to swell to check for blackened centers or damaged tissue. This assessment can also be done prior to bud swell by putting cut canes in a bucket of water in a warm sunny location. 

Winter injury is prevented by making appropriate site selection, avoiding frost pockets, having good air drainage, and planting sufficiently winter hard varieties for your area.

Please contact us if you have any questions!

Posted in: Bramble Production, Newsletter, Strawberry Production

<![CDATA[The Importance of Scouting]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postthe-importance-of-scouting https://noursefarms.com/news/postthe-importance-of-scouting Wed, 15 Mar 2023 00:00:00 GMT The Importance of Scouting
Insect pest management is an important component to successful crop production. The key to an effective pest control program relies on regular monitoring, accurate identification, and proper control timing. Scouting and monitoring for insect pests helps identify and address potential issues before loss occurs or mitigate damage, reduce pesticide usage, and decrease damage to non-pest populations. Monitoring of populations also allows growers to make decisions on applications based on economic thresholds limiting unnecessary pesticide applications.

Regular scouting should begin in early spring and continue weekly/bi-weekly throughout the season. Before beginning a scouting program, identify the key pests for your crop, their development, and the damage caused. When scouting, accurate record keeping is essential. Historical information as well as weather data can be used to track crop and/or pest development stages in relation to temperature and moisture conditions.

Tools for scouting may include a clip board, reference guide/previous scouting notes, camera, hand lens, sweep net, sticky traps, spade or small shovel, knife and hand pruners, disinfectant for hand tools, containers for samples, online/mobile identification/monitoring tools. Many regions have websites and/ or mobile apps to assist growers in pest identification and/or monitoring of populations or conditions suitable for infections. 

Fields and greenhouses should be split into manageable sections and scouted separately. Scouts should walk in an X or W pattern to get accurate composite of area; patterns should change with each trip. In each section, select three to five sample points and inspect 10 – 20 plants, or about 100 square feet. Consider separating large fields by variety, age and spacing. All plant parts should be inspected, including leaves (top and underside), stems, roots and flowers and fruit. 

For specific pesticide recommendations, please refer to your local extension agent. 


Key Pests in Small Fruit & Asparagus

• Adults about 1/50 inch in length, pale greenish yellow/yellow to dark green or brown, oval shaped
• Two large dark spots on back 
• Overwintering females often orange to orange-red
• Eggs are spherical and transparent to yellowish
• Webbing may be present, especially during heavy infestations 

• Prefer temperatures above 80 F with low moisture levels 
• Females lay up to 20 eggs per day, up to 120 total
• Larvae hatch in 1 – 2 weeks, depending on temperatures, can be as little as 3 days in hot weather
• Overwinter as adults, or sometimes eggs, on underside of leaves and emerge in early Spring

Host Plants
• Wide host range including strawberries, brambles, blueberries, vegetables, tree fruit, ornamentals and weeds

• Feeding damage causes stippling on leaves, lack of vigor, stunting, reduced yields
• Silken webbing may be visible

Monitoring period
• Outdoors – Early spring through late fall
• Greenhouses – Year-round

• Maintain healthy plants, spider mites thrive on stressed plants
• Encourage natural predator populations
• Limit insecticide treatments unless necessary, as they can harm predators often increasing spider mite populations

Tarnished Plant Bug

• Adults about ¼” long, winged and greenish-brown with yellow and black dashes, have a brassy appearance

Life cycle
• Prefer temperatures above 50 F but temperatures above 94F stops/slows development
• Overwinter as adults in protected locations
• Return to field around early bud swell
• Females lay 1 – 3 eggs per day, 30 – 120 total per lifespan
• Eggs are laid in plant tissue
• Nymphs hatch in 5 – 7 days and take up to 40 days to develop into adults, can be as little as 12

Host plants
• Wide host range including strawberries, brambles, blueberries, asparagus, vegetables, tree fruit, ornamentals and weeds

• Adults and nymphs feed on unopened buds, flowers & tips of young fruit
• Damaged areas of fruit do not develop further, causing misshapen “cat faced” berries

Monitoring period
• Early spring through late fall Control
• Scout flower/fruit clusters beginning at early bloom
• Nymphs can be easily identified by tapping flower clusters into a white cup or bowl
• Insecticide treatment should occur if average nymphs per fruit cluster is greater than one
• Several parasitoids are effective against TPB


Spotted winged Drosophila

• Adults about 3 mm long. Red eyes, tan body with dark brown bands
• Adult males have a single spot on each wing
• Adult females have a serrated ovipositor, visible under microscope
• Larvae about 1/8”, white cylindrical body that tapers on one end

Life cycle
• Prefer temperatures above 50 F; 94F+ stops/slows development• Overwinter as adults in leaf litter, rotting fruit. Higher survival in mildwinter climates, or milder winters
• Adults live about 2 - 3 weeks, up to 9 weeks in summer
• Females lay up to 100 eggs per day, several hundred total
• Larvae hatch in 1 – 3 days. Take 7 – 10 days to mature into adults

Host plants
• Wide host range of thin-skinned fruits and vegetables including strawberries, brambles, blueberries, cherries, tomatoes, as well as other damaged fruits

• Females use serrated ovipositor to lay eggs in healthy, ripening fruit
• Larvae feed within fruits causing them to soften and brown
• Damage often not visible until after harvest

Monitoring period
• Active during entire growing season but populations increase with temperatures
• Traps are often used to detect adult presence

• Regular picking, and sanitation, removing overripe/dropped fruit
• Removing wild hosts
• Removing foliage from lower canopy, in brambles
• Regular pesticide applications, 3 – 7 days depending on crop
• Early research on predators increasing


Raspberry Cane Borer

• Adults: slender, black, long-horned beetles, ½” long, yellow-orange thorax, 2 – 3 black dots
• Larvae: legless, light-colored, ¾” long

Life Cycle
• Two-year life cycle
• Adults emerge in late spring/early summer
• Females puncture cane in 2 rows, 1” apart, 6” below tip of cane
• Eggs are laid in pith of cane between puncture marks
• Larvae hatch and tunnel down the cane
• 1st year Larvae overwinter in the cane close to the girdle
• The following year larvae move through the cane down to the crown
• 2nd year larvae overwinter at or below ground level and complete development the following spring

Host plants
• Brambles: raspberries, blackberries, black raspberries

• Two rows of puncture marks, 1” apart about 6” below tip of cane
• Tips wilt above punctures
• Cane death can occur if larvae is not removed

Monitoring period
• Late spring through fall

• Prune out wilted tips as soon as they are noticed, ensure canes are cut below larval tunneling
• In heavy infestations, insecticide treatments should target adults pre-bloom


Rednecked Cane Borer

• Adults: ½” long, slender, metallic blue-black, coppery thorax
• Larvae: flatheaded, white, 5/8” – ¾” long when mature

Life Cycle
• Overwinter as larvae in canes
• Larvae pupate early spring, adults emerge late spring/early summer
• Adults lay eggs on undersides of raspberry leaves
• Larvae hatch in 4 – 24 days
• Larvae chew into cane and tunnel in spiral pattern
• Larvae pupate in 10 – 14 days and emerge as adults

Host plants
• Brambles: raspberries, blackberries, black raspberries

• Larval feeding causes cane to swell, sometimes forming gall
• Canes weakened often breaking above swelling

• Remove canes showing swelling and destroy them
• In heavy infestations, insecticide treatments should target adults pre-bloom or post-harvest


Strawberry Root Weevil

• Adult beetles: small dark snouts, rows of pits along backs, 8–12mm
• Larvae C-shaped, legless, white with tan heads, up to 12 mm long

Life Cycle
• Larvae overwinter in soil, pupate early spring, adults emerge late  spring/early summer

Host plants
• Strawberries, brambles and some ornamental plants

• Adult weevils feed on leaves(notching), causing minimal damage
• Larvae feed on roots through winter and spring, causing stunting and poor yields, sometimes death in severe infections

Monitoring period
• Early summer, inspect for adult feeding damage

• Treat soon after adult feeding begins, before egg laying
• Predatory nematodes



• Small sap-sucking insect, typically green, mostly wingless
• Several aphid species can be found on strawberry leaves
• Species ID is important! Damage and control varies by species

Life Cycle
• Overwinter as eggs on underside of strawberry leaves
• Eggs begin to hatch in early Spring
• Adults begin to fly in early summer
• Can be vector for viruses in strawberry

Host Plants
• Wide host range including small fruit, vegetables, trees

• Honeydew deposition from feeding can cause sooty mold
• Can be a vector for viruses

Monitoring period
• Early spring through late fall Control
• Encourage predator populations
• Limit insecticide treatments unless necessary

Posted in: Newsletter, Pests

<![CDATA[Nourse Farms Gift Certificate]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postnourse-farms-gift-certificate https://noursefarms.com/news/postnourse-farms-gift-certificate Tue, 06 Dec 2022 00:00:00 GMT For your Berry favorite gardener!  Buy Now!

Posted in: News

<![CDATA[Canopy Management in Bramble Production]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postcanopy-management-in-bramble-production https://noursefarms.com/news/postcanopy-management-in-bramble-production Thu, 10 Nov 2022 00:00:00 GMT Proper spacing and pruning is essential in maintaining healthy, productive
bramble planting.

In dense plantings, canes compete for light. This competition influences many factors of growth, such as cane height, and thereby productivity. For many growers, control of Spotted Winged Drosophila (SWD) has driven the focus on canopy management.

Ensuring proper in-row and aisle spacing, trellising plants, and maintaining cane density and vegetative growth will optimize yields, increase picking efficacy, and increase light penetration and air circulation, which can reduce pest and disease pressure. Lower cane density is also noted for increasing fruit size and quality, as well as increasing lateral length in floricane production. Optimal cane density and pruning heights vary based on a grower’s location, production methods, trellising, and variety but this article will review our recommended best practices.

Red and Yellow Raspberries

Optimal cane density for in-ground red raspberry production is to maintain 6 – 8 primocanes per linear foot of row and then to reduce to 3 – 5 canes per foot. Cut canes to 6” above the top trellis wire, or about 4.5’– 5’, in late fall. Double cropping varieties should be cut back two nodes below primocane fruiting in late fall. Excess canes, reduce fruit size and marketability, and increases disease pressure due to reduced air circulation and light penetration. Removal of growth, from lower 12” – 18” of canes, which generally produce poorer quality fruit, in the spring increases light penetration for new primocane growth improving early growth. 

While there is no standard density for primocane raspberry production, growers are now focused on control of SWD. Keeping 6 – 8 canes per linear foot of row provides a good balance of berry size and overall yield and improves control of SWD. As SWD prefers to harbor in the lower canopy, removing foliage from lower 12” – 18” of canes in mid-summer reduces the preferred habitat and increases exposure to predators and pesticide applications. Lateral growth during the primocane season is generally limited due to apical dominance.


Black Raspberry

For floricane black raspberries, keeping 6 – 8 primocanes per plant/hill and then limiting to 4 – 6 canes for in late fall is recommended. Primocanes are tipped about 6” above the top trellis wire, or about 5’ – 6’. This tipping causes lateral buds to begin growing. Prune laterals to 3” – 5” in late fall. It is important to keep laterals intact throughout the season and prevent them from contacting the soil, tip rooting. Cutting laterals during the growing season causes buds on laterals to grow, increasing canopy density and disease pressure and reducing berry size and quality.

In primocane production, timing and height of tipping highly influences yield and fruiting time. Primocanes should be tipped in early summer once they have reached 3’ in height. Tipping increases lateral growth and thereby productive space but delays harvest. Growers looking to also produce a floricane crop should cut laterals back two nodes below primocane fruiting in late fall. Double cropping should not be done until plants are at least 2 – 3 years old.


Recommended cane density and pruning for floricane blackberries on a standard trellis follows the same guidelines as black raspberries. When grown on the RCA trellis, blackberries should be maintained at 2 – 5 canes per plant, depending on the variety. Additional canes are not kept due to increased canopy density. Primocanes are trained horizontally to a low wire, about 16”. When the cane reaches the next plant, they are tipped, and foliage is removed. Laterals are then trained vertically, leaving about 3” – 5” of space between them. It is important to remove any laterals growing below the bottom wire. This will assist in maintenance of new primocanes and increase air circulation and light penetration around the base of the plants.

For primocane blackberry production, canes should be tipped when they reach 12” – 15”. Laterals should then be tipped once they reach a length of 30”. This double tipping helps to balance between increasing productive space and reducing the delay of harvest. This is necessary in the North due to the shortened growing season, however even using this method there is often an abundance of green fruit left unharvested at frost. The use of row cover in the spring to induce earlier primocane emergence and growth in high tunnels can help to increase growth and extend harvest season and therefore yield.

Posted in: Bramble Production, Newsletter

<![CDATA[Cyclamen Mite]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postcyclamen-mite https://noursefarms.com/news/postcyclamen-mite Thu, 10 Nov 2022 00:00:00 GMT Cyclamen mite is a pest of economic importance in strawberry production. Issues with cyclamen mite are not common but can cause significant loss of yield to strawberry plantings.

Cyclamen mites can also cause damage to several other crops including pepper, tomato, and some ornamentals. This species is particularly difficult to control as they harbor in the crown of the plant making adequate spray coverage challenging.

Description and Life Cycle

Cyclamen mites develop from egg to adult in 8 – 20 days. High humidity, 70% - 90%, and moderate temperatures, 60 – 80 F, speed up development however temperatures over 95 F can cause mite and egg death. Eggs are elliptical, opaque, and smooth, larvae are also opaque. Adults are small (about .2mm long), and translucent, or orangepink tinted. Females lay about 2 -3 eggs per day and can lay about 90 during their life. Adult females overwinter in the strawberry crown or in other plant material on field perimeter.


Cyclamen mites live within unexpanded leaves and buds in the crown of the strawberry plant. Feeding causes crinkled or crumpled leaves as well as stunted plants. Due to their small size and slow movement in fields, infestations are often not noticed until symptoms occur when populations on plants are high.


With the loss of Thiodan (Endosulfan), chemical control of cyclamen must now be focused on preventative action. Growers with previous exposure to cyclamen must take care to avoid repeated infestations. Prevention starts with good sanitation, clean plants, and well-timed spray applications, as to prevent damage to predators. Biological controls are available and continue to be tested but have not been proven to be an effective control method.

As cyclamen overwinters in plant material rather than in soil, keep field and perimeter free of weeds. Due to their small size and winglessness, these mites often spread by wind, bees and other flying insects, irrigation, and by contact with workers or equipment but will also crawl from plant to plant if the leaves are touching.

Chemical control options for cyclamen mite should be discussed with local extension agents. Some products may include Agri-Mek, Diazinon, Oberon, Portal, and Zeal. Pesticide treatments should be limited as much as possible to reduce potential damage to predators as this can cause cyclamen populations to rise. 

Miticide treatments require high volume applications (200 – 400 gallons per acre) to adequately soak immature leaves and buds deep in the crown. Hot spots can be treated early with a hand sprayer to prevent spraying entire fields. A surfactant should be added to increase translaminar movement.

Application timing is also a key factor in cyclamen control. Key times for applications are before the canopy closes as they provide the best penetration and leaves can act as a funnel, directing miticides to the crown. During the planting year, applications should be made 5 – 6 weeks after planting (before the first runners emerge) and in the fall prior to straw being applied. Fruiting year applications should be made at leaf emergence and at renovation when leaf growth is minimal, and crowns are well exposed.

Posted in: Newsletter, Pests

<![CDATA[Five Points to Ponder]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postfive-points-fall-2022 https://noursefarms.com/news/postfive-points-fall-2022 Thu, 10 Nov 2022 00:00:00 GMT Many growers, Nourse Farms included, are continuing to battle SWD pressure with little to no development of new controls. Our current recommendation includes monitoring for SWD activity with traps and fruit sampling to determine pest presence in field followed by regular pesticide applications.



Traps can be made using a lidded plastic container with 3/16” holes drilled in sides and filled with bait. Baits can be purchased commercially or made using fruit juice or apple cider vinegar with a drop of dish soap. Traps should be hung in a shaded location in the plant canopy. Once SWD is detected control should begin.

Cultural Control

Cultural practices, such as regular picking and removal of overripe and dropped fruit, can help to keep populations from rapidly growing. Carefully managing cane density can also reduce the preferred habitat for SWD while improving insecticidal coverage.

For organic and low spray production, exclusion netting is an option. It does require an up-front investment and careful management for best success. Netting must be put into place before SWD appear but after pollination has occurred and regular monitoring for holes or gaps is crucial. A well-designed entryway is required to ensure SWD aren’t introduced to your planting when going in and out of the structure.

Chemical/biological control

Research is being conducted on a species of parasitic wasps as a potential control. These parasitic wasps are a natural predator to SWD and have now been released in three different locations to study their effi cacy in reducing SWD numbers. We will continue to report updates via email as new information emerges.

Insecticide treatments for SWD only affect adults and therefore should be started at first detection and continue through harvest. Rotate insecticides by their mode of action and IRAC group to reduce risk of resistance, and do not use the same product for repeated applications. Applications should be made at a minimum of every 5-7 days, based on your pressure.


Asparagus, one of the first crops of the season, can be an excellent choice to supplement your berry crop cash flow. Harvested from April – June in the Northern U.S., asparagus is easy to manage, and a single planting will stay productive for many years. Asparagus performs best at a pH of 7.2 or higher. Planting depth ranges from 6” on a heavier silt or clay soil to 10” – 12” on a lighter, well-drained soil. Planting at the maximum recommended planting depth may delay emergence, which has been shown to reduce risk of frost damage in the early season. In general, irrigation is not necessary unless you are in dry conditions, and in that case, drip irrigation works well. Fertilizer rates based on soil tests should be applied, half in early spring and half post-harvest. Regular scouting for asparagus beetles/larva, aphids, asparagus miner, purple spot, is suggested. Control of powdery mildew is crucial to keep ferns green until mid October, which allows them to photosynthesize and send carbohydrates to the roots until frost.

Research shows you can harvest asparagus for 7 – 14 days the year after establishment, for 3 – 4 weeks in year two, and for the full 6 – 8 weekseason in the third year and after. It is important to monitor spear size and cease harvest early if spears become thin and spindly, allowing the remainder of emerging spears to go to fern.

Old ferns may be mowed in the spring with a rotary mower and can be left as a mulch for weed control. Keeping bed clean of weeds during the harvest period is critical, and methods are limited to manual weeding during harvest to avoid injuring emerging spears. Additional options for weed control include practicing no-till and/or a selection of pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides. We recommend consulting your local Cooperative Extension for a selection of recommended herbicides for your state.

More detailed information regarding planting, growing, and marketing asparagus can be found in Asparagus Production – From A to Z by Carl J. Cantaluppi Jr. or by speaking to one of our cultural experts. For herbicide recommendations, see 2022 Cornell Integrated Crop and Pest Management Guidelines for Vegetable Crops, which is available for purchase at cropandpestguides.cce.cornell.edu


Looking to put in a new field of strawberries? Knowing the field history of herbicide applications can be important when planning for the coming seasons planting. Some herbicides are persistent in the soil and can affect sensitive crops like strawberries 18, 24 and even 36 months out from the application. Knowing what product (s) were used the previous 1-2 years prior to planting is critical; 3-4 years ideal. Once the product used is known, it’s important to read the label or consult your Ag dealer or weed specialist to learn about any plant back restrictions. Product labels can be found at agrian.com or by doing product name searches using Google or other web browsers.

Soil texture, soil pH, changing the pH (lime applications), rainfall, herbicide application rates, and spray overlap (effectively a 2X application rate) can all impact herbicide persistence. Group 2 herbicides, (ALS inhibitor), commonly used in corn, soybean, and other crops, are generally a persistent herbicide group. An example of a Group 2 herbicide used in pumpkin fields is Sandea. The label lists a plant back time of 9 months for caneberries and 36 months for strawberries. Some products have no listing for strawberry plant back, but the possibility of carryover to a new strawberry planting exists. Without direction from the product label, it’s best to be cautious and wait as long as 36 months.

Herbicide carryover can cause crop injury ranging from minimal to complete crop loss or plant kill. Injury problems have typically arisen where normal breakdown of herbicides has been inhibited by factors such as drought and pH. Symptoms can include general and interveinal chlorosis, mottled chlorosis, yellow spotting, purpling of the leaves, necrosis, and stem dieback.


As we look at this season, it is clear the impact water levels can have on crop yield and size. Consistently, overhead irrigation is a critical component for frost protection on strawberries. As you look at your irrigation practices on strawberries from post-bloom through harvest, depending on soil type, plants respond best to two inches or more per week. During harvest, berry crops require continuing high levels of irrigation to maintain berry size. Growers using drip irrigation daily benefit from the maintenance of good moisture levels and evaporative cooling. Drip irrigation is also beneficial in fields where differences in elevation results in wet fruit from puddling due to uneven water distribution. An additional benefit is the ability to inject fertilizer to “spoon-feed” the plants. As many head into the winter season, protection of irrigation equipment from winter damage is important. Your system should be parked in a safe location away from potential wind, rodent and tree damage. All parts of the system, including underground lines should be drained. Trickle and drip lines not covered by plastic, plant material or mulch stand less winter rodent damage.


Variety availability varies each year depending on our final pack-out and shifting customer demands. Plant orders for spring planting should be placed as early as October for best selection. This also allows customers to take advantage of our 3% Early Pay Discount for orders over $500 that are paid in full by December 1. We will continue to offer strawberry plugs for late summer – fall planting of Galletta, Yambu, Darselect, Flavorfest, Cabot, and Malwina. We are able to take your quantity needs now and confirm your order, with pricing available at a later date. For Fall 2022, we were sold out of plugs by April 1st. This means that we will likely be sold out in mid-summer when you start considering your fall planting plans. To ensure that you receive the varieties and quantities you need, early ordering is essential. Strawberry plug plants do not qualify for early pay discounts.

Posted in: Newsletter

<![CDATA[Greetings from Whately]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postgreetings-from-whately-fall-2022 https://noursefarms.com/news/postgreetings-from-whately-fall-2022 Thu, 10 Nov 2022 00:00:00 GMT Welcome to our 2023 Newsletter. We’ve included articles we hope will help growers achieve the best results.

2022 marked another rollercoaster year at Nourse Farms. We experienced high input costs driven by inflation and unprecedented supply chain obstacles, making this one of the most unprecedented years in agriculture to date. With that said, we are excited to report that we have an excellent crop and are eager to get the plants into your fields.

We are humbled that we continue to see growth in our business and can serve growers of all types. As
consumers continue to look for local berries in greater numbers, our team is here for you, every step of the way. Our team here at Nourse is dedicated to delivering high quality plants and excellent customer service. Our number one priority will always be to deliver high quality plants.

We are honored to be relied on by you and your operation, and we look forward to serving your plant needs in 2023 and beyond. We also look forward to seeing you at the various conferences and trade shows throughout the year.

Wishing you a strong 2023.
John Place, Chief Executive Officer

Posted in: Newsletter, Newsletter Greeting

<![CDATA[June-Bearing Strawberry Nutrition]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postjune-bearing-strawberry-nutrition https://noursefarms.com/news/postjune-bearing-strawberry-nutrition Thu, 10 Nov 2022 00:00:00 GMT Planting Site Preparation

The first step in developing a comprehensive fertilization program for strawberries begins the year before a spring planting. Soil samples should be taken in the summer, allowing for time to apply lime during the fall. This soil test is a key way to evaluate not only nutritional levels in the soil, but also pH and Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC). Strawberries prefer a soil pH 6.5 – 6.8 with 6.0 – 7.06.8 being acceptable. CEC is important as it will measure the ability of a soil to absorb calcium (Ca), potassium (K), and magnesium (Mg) ions (among others) and its resistance to change pH in response to liming and sulfur additions. Clays and soils high in organic matter have a high CEC, whereas sands have a low CEC.

Organic matter is a small but important component of soils. As organic matter continuously breaks down, the process of mineralization can provide some nutrients for plant growth. Organic matter also improves soil structure, allowing for good drainage while improving its moisture holding capacity. A range of 4 – 6% organic matter is ideal. If the organic matter level of the soil is historically low, cover crops (plowed in) and compost should be considered. 

Overall fertilizer practices should be based on the results of yearly soil tests and leaf analysis if warranted. The following is guidance for our suggested practices.

Preplant Fertilization

Whether you are on a matted row or plasticulture system, fertilizing prior to planting is a key first step in your strawberry nutrition program. Rates should be determined through soil tests taken the previous summer. Depending on soil type (light, medium or heavy) we recommend 50 – 60 units actual nitrogen per acre with corresponding amounts of phosphorous and potassium, in a slow-release form. On matted row, this is about half of the total 90 - 120 units per acre seasonal requirement. For growers on plastic, fertilizer should be worked into the soil, prior to bed shaping. Matted row growers, when fertilize is incorporated well in the root zone, can begin that process 1-2 weeks prior to planting.

Establishment Year – Matted Row System 

The goal with fertilization practices in matted row systems, in the establishment year, is two-fold – encouraging runner development and aiding in flower bud initiation. For runner development, we recommend 20 - 30 units actual nitrogen, side dress when first runners start. This should be followed up with an additional 20-30 units top dress in August prior to fruit bud initiation.


Establishment Year – Plasticulture System 

In the Plasticulture system, whether you are planting bare root in late June/July or plugs in late August, the goal is to get branch crowns (2-3) along with excellent crown size in the mother plant. Since you are pushing plants in a short period of time, in addition to your pre-plant fertilizer, recommend 1-3 lbs. of actual nitrogen per week through the drip system. We alternate 9% calcium nitrate with a balanced fertilizer that includes micronutrients – one calcium application for every three balanced fertilizer applications.

Fruiting Year(s) Spring Fertilization

When a complete fertilizer program is followed the previous season, there is little fertilizer needed in the spring with two exceptions. One exception - light applications of 8-15 lbs. actual N total in cases of moderate to severe winter injury. The second exception is the addition of micronutrients to fungicide sprays during blossom. On certain varieties (Sonata, Cabot, Darselect), the addition of Solubor (boron) or Epsom salts (Magnesium) can improve fruit quality.

Fruiting Year(s) Fertilization at Renovation

Having used much of its nutrient’s resources through plant establishment and fruiting, renovation is a key time for fertilization. We recommend 70 units of actual nitrogen as part of a complete fertilizer applied after mowing and narrowing of the row. This includes phosphorous, potassium and any micronutrients found low on a soil test prior to renovation. Irrigate after application.

Fruiting Year Late Summer/Early Fall Fertilization

Similar to the establishment year, an additional late summer application of 20 – 30 units prior to fruit bud initiation is recommended. Knowing your soil nutrient status through routine soil tests, combined with timely application of complete fertilizer, including appropriate levels of nitrogen for your soil type should yield an excellent crop of berries! Please let us know if you have questions or need additional information.

Posted in: Newsletter, Strawberry Production

<![CDATA[Hot Topics in Small Fruit Weed Control]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/posthot-topics-in-small-fruit-weed-control https://noursefarms.com/news/posthot-topics-in-small-fruit-weed-control Thu, 10 Nov 2022 00:00:00 GMT Based on a recent customer survey, weed control for strawberries and raspberries continues to be an important topic, particularly weed management in strawberries during the planting year and bramble weed management on an established field.

Strawberry Planting Year Weed Control

By selecting the site in the fall prior to planting, you have the opportunity to identify and observe what weed species will be a problem, and to treat the site accordingly to remove those weeds. Identification is important as several of the most prominent weeds have specific herbicides and application timing necessary for control to work effectively. There are several weed identification references available that are very helpful including the MyIPM phone app, as well as the Cornell University (cornell.edu/weedid) and University of Wisconsin (wisc.edu/weedid) websites.

Suggested options for weed control planting year:
• Roundup 30 days before planting. After weeds die, till to prepare for planting.
• For pre-emergent broadleaf control, two ounces of Sinbar per acre within 24 hours after planting. Water ½-1” after to wash the Sinbar off the strawberry plants. Irrigate in ½ - 1” inch of water.
• Devrinol for pre-emergent grass control. Must be watered in with at least 1 inch of moisture to activate. You can use Devrinol throughout the growing season provided you have a good irrigation program after application. At least an inch of water not only activates the product, but regular irrigation works it deeper into the soil, allowing runners to set properly.
• Poast or Selectmax for post emergent grass control. Both are effective on small, actively growing grasses. Select has shown improved activity over Poast on cool-season and perennial grasses. To improve activity on perennial grasses, add 2.5lb/acre ammonium sulfate and repeat application at 14 days. Leaf burn can occur with Poast if applied on hot and humid days.
• In some states, Stinger is labelled for use for post emergent control of broadleaves.
• Dacthal may be an option, is an excellent pre-emergent, specifically for oxalis.
• Check out our Fall 2021 Newsletter in the Commercial Growers section at noursefarms.com, where we give a comprehensive review of late fall weed control options.

Weed Control in Established Bramble Fields

We have found that many perennial weeds can be reduced or eradicated with a Casaron 4G application, after dormancy during winter. This is a great herbicide, but growers must be very careful with application timing and rates. Use of a full rate of Casaron 4G will show yellowing of leaves in the spring and can severely hurt the plants if not applied properly. As it’s a granular, calibration and testing of the granular spreader you are using is critical. We recommend doing a test run of the spreader, along the edge of the field, to doublecheck the output is consistent throughout the row, at the labeled rate. We do not recommend the application of Casoron 4G in the spring.

For spring applications, in our spring newsletter, we noted Trellis SC as a pre-emergent herbicide option to control grasses, as a replacement for Surflan, which will no longer be available. Like our experience with the broadleaf pre-emergent herbicide Princep, damage can be seen using the full rate, particularly on light, sandy soil. Other options to consider would be Sinbar for broadleaves and Devrinol for annual grasses. Based on grower feedback, calibration when using Sinbar, is critical here as above the low end of the label rate can cause plant damage. Devrinol must be watered in to be effective. Summer post-emergent weed control options include Poast or Select.

PLEASE NOTE – Not all of these herbicides are labeled in every state. Consult your state recommendations for labelling and the weeds controlled.

Posted in: Bramble Production, Newsletter, Strawberry Production

<![CDATA[Dr John Clark's Retirement]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postdr-john-clarks-retirement https://noursefarms.com/news/postdr-john-clarks-retirement Tue, 01 Nov 2022 00:00:00 GMT Tim Nourse, President of Nourse Farms, Inc (left) with Dr. John Clark (right) at the retirement event for Dr. John Clark in Fayetteville, AK on October 27, 2022. 

Dr. Clark dedicated his career to fruit breeding at the University of Arkansas and is most noted for his successes with grapes and blackberry varieties. Dr. Clark released over 60 varieties in his tenure.

The blackberry varieties he is most noted for are Natchez, Ouachita, Prime Ark 45, Caddo, and Ponca. Nourse Farms has been a licensed propagator of the Arkansas blackberry varieties for many years and is grateful for Dr. Clark’s contribution to the industry. 

We wish John all the best in his retirement!

Posted in: News

<![CDATA[Early Pay Discount!]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/posttake-advantage-of-our-early-pay-discount https://noursefarms.com/news/posttake-advantage-of-our-early-pay-discount Mon, 03 Oct 2022 00:00:00 GMT Take advantage of our Early Pay Discount on plant orders!

Orders $500 and over that are paid by 12/1/2022 receive a discount of 3%.

Orders $500 and over that are paid by 1/15/2023 receive a discount of 2%.



Posted in: News

<![CDATA[Fresh Picked Tent Closed for Season]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postfresh_picked_tent_closed_for_season https://noursefarms.com/news/postfresh_picked_tent_closed_for_season Thu, 28 Jul 2022 00:00:00 GMT Thanks to our customers who stopped by our tent to purchase best berries in the valley!  We appreciate your business....

Posted in: News

<![CDATA[Berry Tent 2022 Opening Date]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postberry-tent-2021-opening-date https://noursefarms.com/news/postberry-tent-2021-opening-date Thu, 09 Jun 2022 00:00:00 GMT Our 2022 berry season officially opens on Monday, June 13, and we're excited to share our bounty with you!

The Berry Tent will be open 7 days a week.  Hours are  Monday-Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Weekends 9 a.m - 4 p.m.

The Berry Tent will stay open until our fresh berry season ends, which is usually the end of July, but there's not a firm date because the berries need to let us know when they're done! Selection will depend on what is ripe and ready for you. 

Please note that many factors impact the Berry Tent, so we advise checking the Berry Tent page on our website for announcements and updates. We also update our Berry Line with current offerings and weather information. The Berry Line can be reached at (413) 665-2650. 

Directions to our Whately, MA location are available on our website.

We look forward to seeing you!


Posted in: News

<![CDATA[Greetings from Whately]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postgreetings-from-whately-spring-2022 https://noursefarms.com/news/postgreetings-from-whately-spring-2022 Wed, 16 Mar 2022 00:00:00 GMT After more than 50 years as the owner and President of Nourse Farms, I have decided to step away from the day-to-day operational leadership of the company. 

We are very pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2022, John Place has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer at Nourse Farms. Many of you have met John and know him to be a highly accomplished farmer and successful business executive. He has been with us for nearly 3 years as our Chief Operating Officer and has made a significant impact on our performance to date, with an entrepreneurial eye for future opportunity, and an appreciation for our loyal employees and customers that make everything possible.

Nourse Farms, Inc. will be establishing a Board of Directors through the first half of the year, and I will serve as Chairman.

At Nourse Farms, we know our success comes from serving the needs of our customers at a very high level. This will not change with our leadership transition.

Our number one priority will always be to deliver exceptional assistance through excellent customer service and high-quality plants. Our future looks bright in our core business, and we are developing new lines of business to position us for continued growth in the future.

We look forward to continuing our partnership in the years to come the same way we have in years past. Feel free to reach out to either me or John if you have any questions. Here’s to a terrific 2022 and beyond!

Best Regards,

Tim Nourse

John Place

Posted in: Newsletter, Newsletter Greeting

<![CDATA[Fungicide Resistance]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postfungicide-resistance https://noursefarms.com/news/postfungicide-resistance Wed, 16 Mar 2022 00:00:00 GMT Recent studies have shown an increase in fungicide resistance of important fungal pathogens in some regions.

This brings up the importance of having a good mix of fungicides, from different classes and with different modes of action. Fungicides are grouped by their modes of action, each group is given a FRAC code, a number and/or letter. Most fungicides affect a single metabolic site, single site, however some affect multiple sites, multisite.

In general, single-site fungicides are more susceptible to developing resistance than multisite fungicides, like Captan. To avoid building resistance, growers should use a combination of multi-site fungicides and single-site fungicides with different FRAC codes, avoiding applying the same FRAC more than 2 times per season. When disease pressure is high, tank-mixing multi-site and single-site fungicides can provide better control.

During drier periods, when disease infection is less favorable, growers can extend spray intervals. Maintaining good cultural control including proper row and aisle spacing to achieve adequate air circulation and light penetration will
also greatly reduce pressure.

We have had reports of growers seeing resistance with more commonly used fungicides including Elevate and Pristine. We have seen good results with Kenja but growers should speak to local extension agents for possible resistance build ups and recommendations on the best alternative for their region.

Posted in: Bramble Production, Newsletter, Pests, Strawberry Production

<![CDATA[Five Points to Prepare]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postfive-points-to-prepare-2022 https://noursefarms.com/news/postfive-points-to-prepare-2022 Wed, 16 Mar 2022 00:00:00 GMT 1. TIMELY RENOVATION OF STRAWBERRIES

Renovation of June Bearing strawberry plants is a critical component to growing strawberries and must be performed in a timely manner to ensure success. Renovating your field provides an opportunity to control weeds, apply fertilizer, and thin your rows. There are factors that may delay renovation, such as a heat or water stressed field, but, if possible, renovation should be performed immediately after harvest. If renovation is not performed by the second week in August, you should skip mowing but fertilize and narrow your rows regardless. If you think you may have missed the renovation window, give us a call to discuss your options. 


Inflation has soared to its highest level in four decades, with the Consumer Price Index jumping over 7 percent for the year ending in December. We know prices are increasing on just about everything. There is no question growers will need to get more money for their berries. Marketing and pricing of fruit is as important as selecting the best varieties and using the best management practices. The question is how much should growers raise their pricing – 5%, 10%, 15% or more?

Considerations for pricing:

Production budgets. Now is the time to finetune production budgets for this season. Take a close look at budget increases, particularly in the following areas, where we anticipate the largest:
• Fuel & Transportation
• Labor (Seasonal and Full time)
• Packaging (Containers)
• Spray materials
• Fertilizer

Most state cooperative extension departments have excellent budgeting tools on their website.

Farm location. Farms located in more urban or metro areas, where the costs of living and farming are greater, may need a higher price increase.

Production type. Day neutral strawberries, organic, and berries produced in controlled environments (high tunnels) cost more to produce. As the fruit is often produced outside typical ripening seasons or conventional farming, they can garner a higher price increase.

Farm services & entertainment. Providing containers, clean bathroom facilities and farm entertainment (hayrides, petting zoos, etc.) are all incentives for consumers to pay more for your product.

Expanded marketing of berry health benefits. Marketing messages all growers should be promoting are the health benefits of berries as well as “Buying Local.” Scientists have found berries to have some of the highest antioxidant levels of any fresh fruits (measured as ORAC), with kale and spinach being the only vegetables with ORAC values as high as fresh, delicious local berries. Social media, including META (Facebook), Instagram and Twitter can assist in focusing on the high value of local berries. 


Growers have reported an increased need for frost protection over the last several years and we expect this trend to continue. Strawberry plants grow close to the soil and blossom earlier than many other crops, putting them at risk for spring frost and freeze damage. Frost protection is in an important component to a successful strawberry planting, as frost and freeze can cause significant injury to strawberry plants, during open blossom, but also to unopened buds if it is cold enough. There are several options available for frost protection, including overhead watering, row covers, and wind machines/return stack heaters. We believe overhead watering is the most dependable option. Below is a chart of critical temperatures for plant tissue, which are a degree or two lower than critical air temperatures. Because of the variables involved, we recommend beginning frost protection when temperatures are expected to drop below 32.


As more growers consider switching to plasticulture production for bare root strawberries, it is important to note that planting dates for plastic should be later in the season than for matted row production. Planting too early on plastic leads to the development of too many branch crowns which can signifi cantly reduce berry size and yield. Further, there is an increased development of runners which will require an extra round of removal. Growers should be planting bare root strawberries on plastic between mid-June to mid-July depending on your region and aim for 3-4 branch crowns at the end of the season. Strawberry plugs on plastic should be planted approx. 30 days after bare root, or between early-August to mid-September, depending on location.


We learned this past year that SURFLAN was no longer going to be available. Surflan has been a safe herbicide for brambles. A labeled alternative for SURFLAN is TRELLIS SC, manufactured by Dow AgroSciences (now known as Corteva). Growers will need to try Trellis SC to gain experience. As it has more activity than Surflan, I would
suggest you begin at the lower rate when applying it to sandy soils.

• Trellis will be most effective if watered in with a half inch of rain or irrigation.
• Labeled rates – 16 to 31 fl. ounces/acre.
• Apply Trellis when the soil is settled around newly planted plants.
• Do not apply within 60 days of harvest.
• Recommended not to apply through the irrigation system.

There is a supplemental label for Trellis SC that each grower should obtain for their records. Each grower should check to be sure Trellis is registered for your state. Currently Trellis appears to be labeled for all states except New York. The chemistry, isoxaban, is not registered for New York.


Posted in: Newsletter, Strawberry Production

<![CDATA[Key Rust Diseases in Brambles]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postkey-rust-diseases-in-brambles https://noursefarms.com/news/postkey-rust-diseases-in-brambles Wed, 16 Mar 2022 00:00:00 GMT Identification and Management of Orange Rust & Late Leaf/Yellow Rust

With the number of long periods of wet weather over the last two years, we have fielded numerous calls looking for information regarding the type of rust the growers may have. Orange rust and Late Leaf (yellow) rust are distinctly different both in their appearance as well as their severity.


Orange rust, the most common and serious of the rust diseases attacking brambles, can be caused by two stages of a single rust fungus. Aethuriomyces peckianus is the long-cycled state that typically affects black raspberries. Gymnoconia nitens is the short-cycled state of the rust fungus in erect, and trailing blackberries.
Neither fungus has an alternate host, which is common for other rust diseases of raspberry. Orange rust is not known to affect red raspberries.

In the spring, leaves on infected plants appear stunted, and misshapen. In some cases, orange spores can be detected on the underside of lower leaves. Spores will spread the disease to other plants and will spread to the plants root system by fall. Orange rust is systemic in the plant.

Management of Orange Rust

Each spring, inspect plants for any signs of the disease. Southeast U.S. growers may begin seeing symptoms as early as March, late April or May in the north. It is critical to identify and control this early – if not controlled, it will go systemic in the plant, kill it, and provide inoculum to other plants. Immediately dig, remove, and destroy infected plants early, before pustules break open and spores can spread. Rally, Tilt or Abound are main tools for chemical control of orange rust and should be applied early at first sign of pustules. Sulfur sprays are an option for organic growers. Sound cultural practices are also key for managing orange rust.

Remove and destroy all wild blackberry and wild black raspberry plants in the area, as they harbor the disease.

Good air movement throughout the planting is important. Use good thinning and pruning practices, and keep weeds to a minimum.

Orange rust (top & bottom photos) seen with very distinct orange sporulation on the undersides of leaves. Young, infected primocanes are often stunted. Leaf lesions are blister-like in appearance, and they are more pronounced on the periphery of the leaf, as opposed to the leaf center. Spores are generally round with lobed margins, as opposed to spiny.

Photos courtesy of “Is it Blackberry Leaf Rust or Orange Rust?” www.raspberryblackberry.com
Authors John R. Clark, University of Arkansas and Phil Brannen, University of Georgia

A potentially serious disease of red raspberries, late leaf rust (Pucciniastrum Americanum) can affect leaves, canes, and fruit. It appears in late July or early August first on lower foliage with small chlorotic or yellow areas initially. Unless it’s severe, foliar infections may be diffi cult to see. More advanced symptoms include the appearance of yellow masses on the underside of leaves. The yellow presence on fruit makes them not marketable. It is important to control when first seen, as it can spread rapidly during wet periods. We have seen it in grower fi elds where it will completely defoliate the plant and eliminate harvest. Fall bearing varieties Heritage, Caroline and Anne are particularly susceptible.

Pustules on individual drupelets on infected fruit. Note the masses of yellow spores. Photo courtesy of The Ohio
State University, Bulletin PLPATHFRU-30

Management of Late Leaf (Yellow) Rust

Controls for Late Leaf (Yellow) Rust are similar to Orange Rust. Chemical control rotating Rally, Tilt or Abound fungicides are warranted beginning at first signs of infection. Unlike orange rust, late leaf rust is not systemic and can be eliminated from the planting. Most of the fungicides that are rated for late leaf are also rated for other leaf/cane diseases. Cultural controls include trellising, proper spacing, cane/leaf management, use of
drip irrigation. With orange rust and late leaf (yellow) rust, if you identify and control it successfully early, you
may not see the advanced symptoms that are extremely detrimental to your crop and planting.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Cane and leaf rust. Lesions are found throughout the underside of the leaf, and sporulating lesions are generally yellow in appearance and do not distort the leaf. Lesions are also found on canes. Above photos courtesy of “Is it Blackberry Leaf Rust or Orange Rust?” www.raspberryblackberry.com
Authors John R. Clark, University of Arkansas and Phil Brannen, University of Georgia

Posted in: Bramble Production, Newsletter