by Paul Rusnak, Growing Produce
There is a new threat Florida blueberry growers should be wary of: bacterial wilt. In a memo sent to members of the Florida Blueberry Growers Association, President Dudley Calfee strongly advised growers to scout fields thoroughly for this “new and dangerous pathogen.”
The disease has initially been confirmed on three farms, two in Desoto County and one in Lake County. On all three farms, the variety ‘Arcadia’ was the most severely affected, according to Phil Harmon, UF/IFAS Plant Pathologist. Other varieties also may be susceptible, but additional research is needed before we will know for sure.
The following disease specs are courtesy of Harmon:
Bacterial wilt of southern highbush blueberry, caused by Ralstonia solanacearum, features symptoms similar to those caused by Xylella and bacterial scorch.