Ok. So I've been getting a good number of texts these past two days of people showing off and holding up pretty good sized fruit. San Andreas and Sweet Ann are clear leaders in this category, but none is going to be as large as the 197 g (very nearly half a pound!) beast picked out of the CBC breeding program last year and the photo of which was contributed by manager Kyle.
Some discussion of the origin of this 197 g fruit. Some would say that this is a "fused fruit" meaning it is derived from two flowers and thus not truly a single berry, but there are some fruit of this size and shape which come from a single flower. It's hard to tell which is it from the photo, but at any rate growers will find these from time to time, more often than not in the early part of the season.
I think this enormous fruit should settle all arguments about who has the biggest fruit around. At any rate, if you think you've found a bigger one, try me and I'll post it.
Certainly a lot of big berries around right now. The CalPoly program posted a picture of a 102 gram berry on its Facebook page, and here we are shown one mondo fruit out of a local strawberry breeding program that tops out at 130 g and another weighing in at 109 grams (plus the weights are proven by photographing them on a scale). What's more, we are shown six fruit of the same cultivar as the 109 g specimen that each weigh over 100 grams. As the CalPoly page points out, cultivar, along with time of year and of course producer skill, is what brings in the big berries.
It's pretty notable that all of these berries were picked today and nevertheless after the substantial amount of rain we got this past Friday and Saturday they are completely free of blemish or water soaking. Remarkable rain fastness for a strawberry.
For those of you who read the financial pages, you may have noticed a slew of articles being written as of late regarding the serious travails of brick and mortar retail stores against the onslaught of Amazon and other online retailers. Small mom and pop retail outlets are closing everywhere, Target closed all of its stores in Canada, JC Penney is not doing well, Macy's has lost half of its market value in under two years, Sears is probably going bankrupt and even the venerable investor Warren Buffet has sold most of his shares of Walmart saying "the online thing is hard to figure out, you know?"
For background, really informative podcast on the retail environment, which among other things we find that the interviewer spends FIFTEEN hours a week food shopping in traditional stores:
and the IBD "Death Stalks Retail Stocks"
This matters to us as producers and purveyors of food because Amazon has declared that groceries are the final frontier for its enterprise. Very big deal here people.
I'm not an expert on retail by any means, so will not elaborate on this theme other than to point out that who ever figures out how to ship high quality berries direct to the consumer is going to do very, very well.
Angular leaf spot (or as some insiders refer to it, "ALS") caused by the bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas fragariae, has been showing up a bit more than expected this year in several strawberry varieties, including Cabrillo and Petaluma.
I'd like to demonstrate several descriptions of this disease from the UC IPM guidelines for strawberry with pictures just taken this morning on a field of Cabrillo variety strawberry. Picture 1 shows the water soaked spots on the leaves which as a matter of fact when seen in the low angle of light in the early morning show the angular formation of infection bounded by the venation of the leaf. Further, picture 2 shows the viscous exudates (reminiscent of pus) matched to these areas on the underside of the leaf. These exudates tend to be moist and lustrous in the morning, and dry down to a more scaly appearance as the day progresses.
These exudates come from the breakdown of the plant cell walls that this pathogen engenders, and the exudates are of course also filled with Xanthomonas bacteria cells. Given the size and proliferation of these disease propagule filled exudates, it doesn't take much imagination to realize how easily it is to move disease around, especially via rain and overhead irrigation.
The Guidelines state that cool, moist days (think rain) followed by cold nights near freezing are what favor this disease, so hopefully by now we are through most of the woods on this issue for this year.
Enough is enough on lygus. Your colleagues Shimat Joseph, Pete Goodell and Mark Bolda, along with some serious assistance from the UC ANR support unit have assembled the best and brightest minds in the world on lygus and other heteropteran pests right here at your door this coming April.
If I were a grower or PCA serious about managing lygus and other plant bug pests, I wouldn't miss this event for the world, especially the third day which is oriented towards real world applications.
UC ANR Cooperative Extension will be offering a multi-topic Heteroptera insect group Symposium on April 18-19, 2017, followed by a Heteroptera Workshop and local tour on April 20. Following the International Lygus Symposia held in Ottawa Canada, Monterey CA, and Scottsdale AZ, the program will provide participants with the latest information and research from international experts on Lygus, Plant and Stinkbugs. Informational sessions, including keynote presentations from Dr. Tracy C Leskey, Director USDA Agricultural Research Service, and Dr. Kim Helmer, Research Entomologist USDA Agricultural Research Service, will cover topics such as biology and ecology of the group, management of pest species, advances in chemical ecology, and focused crop seminars.
The program will take place at the Embassy Suites Monterey Bay-Seaside at 1441 Canyon Del Rey in Seaside. Registration is currently open and offered at a three-day combination package or a single-day workshop option. Discounted early registration ends April 1, 2017. Register at http://ucanr.edu/sites/2017bugsymposium/Registration/.
Visit our website to see the latest information and to sign up to receive email notices. http://ucanr.edu/sites/2017bugsymposium/.
If you have any questions, please contact Kellie 530-750-1259 firstname.lastname@example.org