Fayette County Extension

BLACKBERRIES-CAUSES and PREVENTION OF ORANGE FELT DISEASE

Good article – Phillip Brannen, UGA Plant Pathologist; written by Abigail Taylor         January 31, 2017

Phillip Brannen, an Extension plant pathologist with the University of Georgia, recently spoke on the significance of orange cane blotch in blackberries and action to take to control this disease.

Orange cane blotch, or orange felt, is an algal disease that mostly affects coastal plain regions of the Southeast. Orange felt occurs in hot and humid environments, making it a significant problem in Florida. This disease can lead to other cane diseases that will result in the decline of the plant. Brannen recently found that orange felt can also cause a considerable yield drag.

Orange felt will first appear as yellow spots near the base of the cane. As the disease progresses, the spots appear orange and look almost like velvet.

Brannen has found that the only way to control orange felt is spraying with phosphonate fungicides such as ProPhyt. “That’s the only material we found out of about 20 different classes of chemistry we looked at that will work on this algal disease,” he said.

Brannen recommends growers start spraying ProPhyt in mid-summer through the fall to protect blackberries from orange felt.

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