[Market-farming] New red raspberry pest

Marlin Burkholder burkholders at glenecofarm.com
Wed Aug 24 22:01:16 EDT 2011

For the first time in nearly 20 years of growing the fall crop of Heritage
red raspberries we are having serious problems with some sort of fruit fly
that apparently lays its eggs in beginning to ripen berries.  As the fruit
ripens it suddenly goes soft.  Close inspection of the damaged fruit reveals
small difficult to see maggots.  At first I thought it was just overripe
berries because we were not keeping up with the picking.  But now nearly all
of the berries go soft and mushy as soon as they reach optimum ripeness.
When I began growing raspberries years ago we would begin picking the crop
in the final week of August or early September.  Now we have to begin
picking a month earlier and this year its looking like the whole crop is
going to crash before the end of August.  This appears to be a new pest on
our block. We have noticed the occasional raspberry fruit worm in the
ripening crop and minor to moderate damage to growing canes early in the
season by the red necked cane borer but neither of these pests have caused
serious problems.

Looks like we are now seeing 80 to 90% loss which is devastating!  I wonder
what other raspberry growers are seeing and what they are doing about it.  I
may consider spraying an insecticide in late July next year but would prefer
to use organic control methods.

Marlin Burkholder
Virginia's Shenandoah Valley

PS I must have been riding my 4 wheeler when the quake hit because I didn't
feel it.

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