Speaking from a strawberry plantation in Poland, Dr. Kamil Jeziorek, a crop field expert from Syngenta, explains how to protect the crop from pests and diseases.
A current continuing warm, even hot spell causes the strawberries to ripen very quickly. Despite the harvest shortening, the pressure from diseases and pests is strong. Growers should not downplay them, and monitor their plantations regularly.
“Monitoring is key, as spider mites are a big issue. During weather like this, larvae could show up in seven to nine days. That is why it is necessary to survey the crop for pests,” Jeziorek says.
When it comes to diseases, the pressure from grey mold is smaller in this weather. But for the product to last longer, have a better turnover and look good on the shelf, so in terms of storing and plant longevity, interventions between harvests are essential. Jeziorek recommends fungicide Switch from Syngenta.
Another disease, anthracnosis threatens both the plant and the fruit. It could show up during trading, if appropriate treatments are not applied during the growth of the fruit. Switch can also help there. In order to prevent immunisation, substance rotation is necessary. Jeziorek recommends Scorpion, a combination of two complementary active ingredients (azoxystrobin and difenokonazol). Scorpion works also against the common spot of strawberry and increases the greenness of the leaves, which will be visibly apparent on the crop.
“The plants will look good and have stronger leaves, which increases the chances for better yield,” Jeziorek explains.
During hot weather, fertilisation, irrigation and protection are crucial. They produce best results, if they are conducted simultaneously. Tight protection is required throughout the season. In spring, during growth, as well as after the harvest, growers must start thinking about the post-harvest care. For example, powdery mildew is very dangerous and requires constant prevention. Here, Syngenta’s Topas will be useful, both interventionally and preventatively.
“It’s necessary to remember that continuing prevention must be conducted according to the schedule and individual protection strategy,” Jeziorek concludes.