A farmers worse nightmare… nurturing and caring for your crop, only to have no crop and no income. As a single crop farm, this means no alternative income, yet ongoing costs to insure care for future crops.
Our farm’s use of IPM and scouting for pests failed to find signs of the upcoming problem. During the month of June 2022, in the midst of the cranberry blossom season the wonderful pink blossoms and leaves turned brown. The culprit ? Black Headed Fireworm. Larval feeding from the second generation of the season voraciously ate leaves and flowers, turning them brown, starving the plants of photosynthesis needed to produce fruit. With the expertise of the UMass Cranberry Station, and the CT Agricultural Experiment Station, they diagnosed the problem from samples and pictures, and made recommendations to destroy the pest and save the plants from dying. While it was too late to save the 2023 crop, it was timely to restore health and growth to the vines in July.