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by Aaron Cato - September 11, 2019
Is an orange powdery-like substance showing-up on your blackberry? Here are some guidelines
for diagnosing and treating leaf and cane rust in post-harvest blackberry.
Many blackberry growers in the state have finished up harvest and moved on to maintenance
of their crop and prepping it for the next year. Although many of our varieties no
longer have fruit present, we still have to watch out for a few diseases that can
impact the plant. One late season disease that we are seeing pop-up across the state
is leaf and cane rust, which is caused by the fungus Kuehneola uredinis. This disease is often confused with orange rust, which has no means of control except
removing the plant. Leaf and cane rust, pictured below, can be controlled by many
fungicides, and is something we should be scouting for and responding to as it can
lead to severe defoliation and potentially impact next year’s yield.
If you observe orange pustules that look like leaf or cane rust in your blackberry,
call your county agent to get samples sent in to the plant health clinic for a confirmation
of the diagnosis. In the summer-early fall it is much more likely to be leaf and cane
rust, but it is still important to confirm the issue at hand before determining a
remedy. When leaf or cane rust is confirmed post-harvest, make sure to prune out all
floricanes that are present and burn these canes outside of the blackberry field.
After floricanes are removed, if rust is observed on primocanes apply Abound (FRAC
11) or Cabrio (FRAC 11) or Quilt Xcel (FRAC 11 +3) or Rally (FRAC 3) or Tilt (FRAC
3) or Pristine (FRAC 11 + 7).
Consult the following guides for more specific recommendations: