Southeast Grower Survey Reveals Fruit Quality Protection Concerns

Fruit quality was top of mind for fruit and berry growers at the 2015 Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference, who said they will update their crop protection programs this year to help minimize pest pressure and grow more abundant, uniform crops. Surveyed growers identified spotted wing drosophila and botrytis fruit rot/gray mold as top challenges.

SAVANNAH, Ga., March 4, 2015 – According to a survey sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection of fruit and berry growers attending the 2015 Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference, 80 percent said they will update their crop protection programs this year to help grow more abundant, uniform crops.

The survey collected information from growers attending the recent conference in Savannah, Georgia. Those surveyed primarily grow tree fruits, strawberries and blueberries.

Spotted Wing Drosophila Problem

Growers participating in the survey identified spotted wing drosophila as the most challenging insect (67 percent), followed by aphids (28 percent) and cherry fruitworm (17 percent). 

Among diseases, the growers surveyed ranked botrytis fruit rot/gray mold (39 percent), powdery mildew (28 percent) and scab (28 percent) as their top challenges.

Minimizing Pest Pressure

Growers are considering a variety of methods to enhance their crop protection programs and protect fruit quality by keeping pests in check. One-third of those surveyed (31 percent) said they plan to increase the number of times they apply insect or disease control products, and 27 percent are considering the use of alternate crop protection applications. Other tactics being considered by those surveyed include growing new varieties (17 percent) and investing in new crop protection technologies (16 percent).

New Technologies to Combat Pests

“Staying ahead of insect, disease and weed damage is always challenging,” said James Hay, business director, North America, DuPont Crop Protection, “so we constantly search for new ways to sustain food production and farmer prosperity around the world.”

Hay said that industry and growers must work together to implement sound management strategies. Introducing new modes of action for crop protection is one important way to manage pest resistance and preserve the efficacy of crop protection technologies already being used. For example, DuPont Exirel®  insect control powered by Cyazypyr® provides a new mode of action for cross-spectrum control of sucking and chewing pests such as spotted wing drosophila. For combating tree fruit and berry diseases, DuPontFontelis® fungicide features an active ingredient that delivers the fast-acting, long-lasting protection growers need to achieve high-quality, high-yielding crops.

“The survey findings underscore the value of developing and deploying effective new crop protection strategies for the tree fruit and berry market,” concluded Hay. “We continually collaborate with growers and consultants to help them achieve the best results possible.”

DuPont™ Exirel® insect control and DuPont™ Fontelis® fungicide are not available in all states. See your local DuPont sales representative or retailer for details on availability. 

The EPA registered label for Exirel® contains the statement, “This product is highly toxic to bees exposed to direct treatment on blooming crops or weeds.  Do not apply this product or allow to drift to blooming crops or weeds if bees are foraging in the treatment area.” See other pollinator protection section on the label.

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