- Author: Mark Bolda
A bracing article out of the Business Section in today's paper on rising grower interest in the use of microbes as an alternative to delivering plant nutrients which as we all know are rising a lot in price (sorry, paywall):
Just like some of the farmers in the article, I'm skeptical and certainly would not go all in on this technology. Berries are a very high value crop and taking a risk on shorting the crop on an essential nutrient like N, P or K to save a couple of bucks per acre is not a strategy of farming success.
My own experience with these couples very well with the professor from Purdue University in recommending that "farmers should consider testing the products themselves before purchasing in bulk".
- Author: Mark Bolda
I've spent the last few weeks poring over the archived Production Pink Sheets on the Strawberry Commission website. These are extremely valuable tranches of knowledge written in clear language by all the greats of whom we always hear. Any one wanting to get back to the foundational basics of understanding in strawberry is well advised to spend some time here.
This bulletin titled Lygus, Thrips and Cat-Faced Strawberries produced by William Allen of UC Berkeley and written by Malcolm Douglas is just too good not be shared. Every single line of this bulletin has valuable information for the scientist and the grower, it's like reading poetry or a sacred text.
Included in just a page and half are gems such as flower susceptibility to damage by lygus only in the first ten days (achenes become too hard after that), the protection of the tissue inserted eggs from non-residual methods of control, the confirmation that thrips do not cause cat-facing of fruit, and a statement concerning the inability of honeybees to reduce the incidence of cat-facing.
And then this:
"In time we hope to have data that will show how much catfacing can be expected from various population levels of lygus."
This article was written in 1974, and that we find ourselves in 2022 still not having the answer to this simple question is sad. How does something like this happen? The people and science have been there all along, I fail to see how this could not have been accomplished by now.
Article attached. Many thanks to the Strawberry Commission for keeping these and making them widely available.