Small Fruit (New England)
Coordinated by Heather Faubert (hfaubert@mail.uri.edu), Research Assistant 
Department of Plant Sciences and Entomology, The University of Rhode Island

Background

Small fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.) are an important crop for many Northeastern fruit farms and diversified farms. In addition, Maine is the largest producer of wild blueberries in the world growing 44,000 acres. 

Highbush blueberries
Highbush blueberries
Heather Faubert, University of Rhode Island 

Objective

The iPiPE program is designed to alert growers, Cooperative Extension professionals, and consultants in the Northeast to small fruit insect and disease threats in a timely manner. Best management practices including cultural and chemical control options are provided for each pest. Student interns are trained in pest identification, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices and gathering reliable information to share with growers and other stakeholders.

Blueberry growers
Blueberry growers at twilight meeting 
Heather Faubert, University of Rhode Island



The University of Rhode Island logo


Situation

Before 2011, most small fruit producers grew blueberries and raspberries with very few pesticides. Since 2011, all small fruit growing regions in the Northeast have been plagued by spotted wing Drosophila (SWD) which destroys crops and leads to numerous insecticide applications. Other invasive pests, such as winter moth and brown marmorated stink bugs have caused serious economic damage in some areas and continue to spread throughout the region.  Providing timely pest outbreak locations and control strategies will benefit large and small growers and Cooperative Extension professionals and consultants that advice producers.


Important Pests

Spotted wing Drosophila, unheard of by most growers before 2011, is now the most important blueberry and raspberry pest.  Other invasive insects new to small fruit producers include winter moth and brown marmorated stink bug.  Other important insect and disease pests include tarnished plant bug, two spotted spider mites, mummyberry, anthracnose, and Botrytis.

Spotted Wing Drosophila
Spotted wing Drosophila male on ripening blueberry
Heather Faubert, University of Rhode Island