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US: Maine berry growers urged to take precautions against crop threatening pest

Farmers growing late-season berries should be on the lookout for a strain of fruit fly that affects barely ripe soft-skinned fruit such as raspberries, strawberries, blackberries — and in some cases, blueberries.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension monitors the population rates of the insect, the spotted-wing drosophila, and is encouraging farmers still growing these crops to take precautions against possible infestation.

With good weather prolonging the viability of late season raspberries and strawberries, the high populations of spotted-wing drosophila being detected could ravish the berries before farmers get to them, according to David Handley, a Cooperative Extension vegetable and small fruit specialist.

“If you’re still harvesting fruit, you need to stay on the ball here,” Handley said.

Publication date: 10/2/2017


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