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Plant & Pest Advisory > Vegetable Crops

Contact Information

The points of contact between Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service and the grower & business communities are the NJ County Agricultural Agents. The agents are a tremendous source of information for both new and experienced growers. Visit your local county extension office.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Strawberry: Viruses to Watch For

Excepted from Two Viruses Found Throughout Strawberry Fields in the US
by Andy Wyenandt and Peter Nitzsche

Strawberry mottle virus (SMoV) and strawberry mild yellow edge virus (SMYEV) have been found in Pennsylvania, Virginia and New Jersey this spring. Plants sourced from one particular nursery in the Great Valley area of Nova Scotia are at risk. Keep this in mind when ordering new plants for fall. Although the strawberry plant may show symptoms and yield less, fruit from infected plants are still edible and there should be no difference in taste.

For New Jersey
Morris County Agricultural Agent Peter Nitzsche collected samples from two northern NJ farms and sent samples to Bob Martin of USDA ARS. As suspected, several of the samples from small or stunted plants came back positive for both viruses and some large and small plants tested positive for one of the viruses.

What to Look For
These viruses are usually only a problem in matted-row strawberry production, where plants are in the field for a much longer period of time and plantings are not destroyed at the end of each growing season.
  • Look for small, stunted plants with older leaves sometimes turning bright red in color, while the edges of leaves around the crowns of plants, and/or emerging leaves, show a distinct yellowing, which sometimes develop into patterns of marginal necrosis (i.e., dead tissue along the margins of leaves). 
  • Scout for aphids as they transmit both viruses.
Symptomatic Strawberry Plants
Photo by Chuck Johnson, VA Tech

What to Do
Scout for aphid vectors and spray appropriately following label recommendations. Plants known to be infected, or showing typical symptoms, or obtained from the nursery in question should be destroyed. If you have questions or concerns, contact your county agent.

[posted by Rabin]

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Week of Cloudy Weather Condusive to Lettuce Tipburn

This predicted week of cloudy weather should make lettuce growers take note of conditions in their fields. Any lettuce crops that are one-three weeks away from harvest are susceptible to internal lettuce tipburn caused by low evapo-transpiration (Et) induced Calcium deficiencies in the rapidly expanding new leaves in the core of the head. Supplemental foliar applications of Ca with airblast sprayers to get it into the head as much as possible may help reduce the incidence of tipburn. More details about lettuce tipburn can be found on pages 6-9 of the Proceedings of the 2012 NJ Vegetable Conference here.
--Rick VanVranken