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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Pests of Blueberries on Sao Miguel, Azores, Portugal

Authors
item Hummer, Kim
item Williams, Roger - OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
item Mota, Jose - AGRI. SERVICES DIRECTOR

Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 20, 2009
Publication Date: March 20, 2009
Citation: Hummer, K.E., Williams, R., Mota, J. 2009. Pests of Blueberries on Sao Miguel, Azores, Portugal. Acta Horticulturae. 810:287-292.

Interpretive Summary: In February and March 2006, two plots of 154 plants of two southern high bush blueberries cultivars, ‘Emerald’ and ‘Jewel,’ and a rabbiteye cultivar, ‘Spring High,’ were planted in two locations on São Miguel Island, Açores, Portugal. One plot was planted near the town of Furnas, where the native mountain blueberry species was also planted, and a second plot near Calhetas. At Calhetas, blueberry plantation establishment has been difficult due to high pH and low organic matter. The blueberries at Furnas have become established and European blueberry rust disease, was observed. The symptoms were distinct yellow foliar spots that turned reddish-brown later in the season. ‘Jewel’ had the most rust infection, followed by ‘Emerald’ and ‘Spring High.’ Foliar lesions of the rust were not observed on any of the native mountain blueberry. This fungal disease exists in other European blueberry growing regions and can be managed with sprays. The leaf roller infested each of the blueberries and was observed at both locations. The heaviest infestation of thrips was observed on plants of the native mountain blueberry. The blueberry insect complex in the Azores is not different from that in other locations where blueberries are grown and corresponding control measures are available.

Technical Abstract: In February and March 2006, two plots of 154 plants of two southern high bush blueberries cultivars, Vaccinium corymbosum cv. ‘Emerald’ and ‘Jewel,’ a rabbiteye cultivar, V. virgatum cv. ‘Spring High,’ were planted in two locations on São Miguel Island, Açores, Portugal. One plot was planted near the town of Furnas, where the native Vaccinium cylindraceum was also planted, and a second plot near Calhetas. At Calhetas, blueberry plantation establishment has been difficult due to high pH and low organic matter. The blueberries at Furnas have become established and European blueberry rust disease, caused by Pucciniastrum vaccinii, was observed. The symptoms were distinct yellow foliar lesions, with the pustules turning a brown reddish color later in the season. ‘Jewel’ had the most rust infection, followed by ‘Emerald’ and ‘Spring High.’ Foliar lesions of the rust were not observed on any of the native mountain blueberry, V. cylindraceum seedlings. This fungal disease exists in other European blueberry growing regions and can be managed with fungicidal sprays. The foliar insect pest, Epiphyas postvittana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) infested each of the blueberry species and was observed at both locations. The heaviest infestation of thrips was observed on plants of native V. cylindraceum. The blueberry insect complex in the Azores is not very different from that in other locations where blueberries are grown and corresponding control measures are available.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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