As harvest winds down on coastal vegetables, PCAs reported moderate, “normal” pest pressures.
Efren Celaya, an independent PCA based in Salinas, said he was largely contending with pathogens such as botrytis and powdery mildew in strawberries and some vegetable crops.
He said applications every two weeks are helping to keep botrytis in check on the second planting of strawberries.
“We have a pretty good arsenal of materials for botrytis to allow us to rotate among various modes of action,” Celaya said.
He is applying ground applications of potassium and calcium to firm up strawberries to keep fruit from softening as the pathogens sporulate.
“We usually start that in August when the botrytis kicks up and carry that out through October until the first rains come and the crop is pretty much done.”
Pressures were also mounting for downy mildew on lettuce and Celaya said he is applying applications of maneb, a 14-day-to-harvest material, at two week intervals.
He said worm pressures continue to be light and easily controlled. He has been relying on spinosad to control worms to get the added control on thrips.
“With these products you have to make sure you buffer them up or down because they are very pH dependent,” Celaya noted.