Evan Elford, New Crop Development Specialist, OMAF and MRA
Haskaps are beginning to turn colour (Figure 1) which means birds will be more interested in the berries! In Simcoe, we have had ongoing issues with birds in our haskap trial, particularly robins. The goal is to implement control measures before the crop is attractive to birds which may be long before the crop is ready for harvest.
Figure 1: Ripening haskap berries (Indigo Treat), June 4, 2013.
This year we have used 19mm ( 3/4″) diamond shaped bird netting draped over 1.2 m (4′) posts and secured to the ground using ground staples (Figure 2). A partial list of bird netting suppliers is listed on the OMAF website: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/resource/info_birdnet.htm
Figure 2: 19 mm bird netting over haskaps on 1.2 m posts.
Some other bird management options such as visual deterrents and electronic sound devices are outlined in OMAF’s Pub 360, Guide to Fruit Production: Bird Control: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/pub360/9bird.htm
We have also noticed some brown spots appearing on a few of the berries this year (Figure 3). Have you seen similar damage in your area? Please share in the comments what you are seeing in the field and what you suspect to be the issue.
Figure 3: Brown lesions/spots appearing on some haskap berries.The author would like to thank Chris Hedges, Orchard Post and Orchard Supply, for providing the posts in the haskap trial located at the Simcoe Research Station.