Sep 18, 2020
Neopestalotiopsis fruit rot seen in Florida strawberries

There is a new disease that has been reported on strawberries, and it is causing substantial issues for the strawberry industry in Florida.  It is possible that our environment in Georgia is not conducive to the disease, but we should be diligent and on the lookout without regard.

Fungal Neopestalotiopsis species are associated with the disease, and Natalia Peres (University of Florida) has recently published an article about this disease and its management – or lack thereof.
“Below-ground symptoms were characterized by darkening of the roots and orange-brown necrosis in the crowns, which contributed to stunting or poor establishment after transplanting. Above-ground symptoms ranged from stunting to wilting and necrosis of older leaves, to eventual collapse and death of the entire plant. . . . Most of the commercial strawberry cultivars grown in Florida were affected by the disease and the common linkage among these outbreaks was the nursery source for the plants.”

These symptoms are very similar to those of Phytophthora root rot or anthracnose crown rot. Fruit spot symptoms are similar to those of anthracnose, whereas leaf spot symptoms are similar to other common leaf spots observed on strawberry; therefore, microscopic examination of spores is likely required for confirmation.  You should be extra vigilant when receiving and inspecting strawberry plants this year; work with county agents to confirm diseases that are showing up on young and maturing plants as the season progresses.

To date, Switch and thiram products are the only fungicides that provide suppression of this disease (~50% control).  We have not confirmed Neopestalotiopsis fruit rot disease in Georgia, though Florida has reported issues over the last year or two.  To reiterate, I am putting out this information out of an abundance of caution, and I hope we do not have issues.

 – Phil Brannen, University of Florida




Current Issue

Lewis Taylor Farms counters rising labor costs

Avoid spreading tomato disease when transplanting

Georgia produce group celebrates award winners at highly attended show

In the muck and weeds: Michigan veg experts honored

Farm market bus tour shows what works, what doesn’t

Storytelling can end commodity farming

Tips for strawberry growers take center stage

Take time to assess your marketing strategy

Farm Bureau, John Deere agree on ‘right to repair

DiMare, voice of Florida tomato industry, dies

EPA proposes rodenticide restrictions

Duda names new president

Kitchen window view changes from farm to D.C.

see all current issue »

Be sure to check out our other specialty agriculture brands

produceprocessingsm Organic Grower