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Redefining IPM for Strawberry Production under the Emerging Threat of Anthracnose and Strawberry Sap Beetle 2002

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Project Leaders: William W. Turechek and Greg Loeb

Type of Grant: Monitoring, forecasting, and economic thresholds

Project Location: All of NY.

Abstract

A sampling survey of strawberry acreage in New York was conducted to determine the distribution of two pests of increasing concern to strawberry growers in New York: strawberry sap beetle, Stelidota geminata (Say), and anthracnose, Colletotrichum acutatum.  The 2002 sampling for both pests was conducted in a total of 37 strawberry fields at 14 farms, with farms distributed throughout four agricultural regions of New York. The average number of strawberry sap beetle (SSB) captured per whole wheat bread dough trap in fields ranged from 0.4 to 53.6.  Trap catches of SSB were lower at farms sampled after berries began ripening, suggesting that the beetles are more attracted to ripe strawberries than the bread dough traps. No specific cultural practices or crops surrounding the strawberry fields were clearly linked to the number of SSB captured in the field. SSB was perceived to be a pest in some locations and not in others, despite its presence at all farms.  Further work to understand when beetles are moving into fields in New York, what other crops are important food sources for the beetle, and how far the beetles can disperse will be needed to develop strategies for controlling SSB. Although, severe anthracnose epidemics were observed in some fields in western NY this year, the disease was found in only one of the 37 fields included in the survey this season. The reason for its conspicuous absence, in what appeared to be a season conducive for a widespread epidemic, is under investigation. Most likely, weather conditions in other regions of the state just prior to or during harvest were not as conducive for disease development as it was in western NY or, because many fields were sampled 1 to 2 weeks prior to harvest, fields were surveyed before significant disease development occurred. It has been hypothesized that SSB may help spread anthracnose throughout strawberry fields, although it was impossible to determine during this survey because the disease was only found in one field.

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