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Smart Garden 2020: Recognizing Herbicide Damage on Berry Plants

Last week, I was concerned that the new primocane raspberries I just planted may have been damaged by 2,4-D and dicamba herbicides (i.e. Four Speed, Ortho Weed B Gon) that was sprayed on a lawn nearby to kill creeping Charlie. These herbicides are highly susceptible to drifting through the air and damaging (injuring) plants nearby. My grapes were showing injury symptoms, but they are the "canary in the coal mine" so to speak, for dicamba and 2,4-D injury because they are extremely susceptible.

So I went online to find photos of what herbicide injury looks like on raspberries, but did not find anything.

From there, I sent out an email to a network of fruit Extension specialists throughout the Great Lakes region for answers. Several of them provided helpful photos of herbicide injury on berries.

Below are a collection of photos of herbicide damage, primarily on raspberries, with a few on strawberries and blueberry as well. Fruit growers can refer to these photos if herbicide injury is suspected, and to be aware of what it looks like before it happens.

Permission was granted by the photographers, for use in this article. If you wish to reuse these photos, please seek permission from the owners of the photos listed here.

Glyphosate (i.e. Roundup) Injury on Raspberries and Strawberries

Injury caused by glyphosate appears as yellow or white discoloration between the veins of the leaves. Often, the symptoms are more severe on the outer edges of the leaves, working inward. 

Last week, I saw a small amount of glyphosate injury in a strawberry field where thistles and dandelions were spot-treated with glyphosate. In these cases, it can be difficult to avoid small amounts of drift to neighboring strawberry plants. Strawberries and raspberries can recover from small amounts of drift, but it is hard to know whether yield will be impacted.

The following four photos show glyphosate injury on raspberries, provided by OMAFRA. The second and third photos show symptoms on new spring growth, from herbicide drift that occurred the previous year.

Four photos above: Glyphosate injury on raspberries.
A close-up view of glyphosate injury on raspberry leaves. 
Photo: Melanie Ivey, Ohio State University
The next three photos show strawberry plants that were injured by glyphosate when it was accidentally applied to them (photos courtesy of Pam Fisher). This can happen if the sprayer was used previously to spray Roundup and not properly cleaned out after use.

Three photos above: Strawberry plants injured by glyphosate that was left in the lines of a backpack sprayer. 
Photo: Pam Fisher, Fisher Berry Crop Consulting

2,4-D Injury on Raspberries

2,4-D injury on raspberry leaves. 
Photo: Marvin Pritts, Cornell University
2,4-D can cause curling and twisting of raspberry leaves. However, raspberries appear to be less susceptible to 2,4-D injury than dicamba injury.

Kevin Schooley shared the following photos with me. He reported that newly emerged primocanes (new shoots) sprayed with 2,4-D showed initial symptoms, but the plants had mostly recovered within a week of the application.
Emerged primocanes after being sprayed with 2,4-D. There were almost fully recovered within a week, and symptoms were barely visible within two weeks. Photo: Kevin Schooley

Emerged primocanes after being sprayed with 2,4-D. There were almost fully recovered within a week, and symptoms were barely visible within two weeks. Photo: Kevin Schooley

Dicamba Injury on Raspberries

Raspberries are thought to be more sensitive to dicamba than to 2,4-D. The photos below show widespread drift injury on a raspberry field. The drift is believed to have come from a nearby field; the plants were not sprayed directly.

The drift occurred as the fruit were developing, and they were able to recover and produce a crop. However, it is not known whether fruit quality was impacted in this case. Symptoms included wilting, curling, and twisting of the leaves.
Photo: Esther Kibbe, Cornell University

Photo: Esther Kibbe, Cornell University

The three photos above show dicamba damage to a raspberry field following a poorly managed application to a nearby field. The symptoms are relatively mild, and mainly involve twisting of the stems. However, this demonstrates the impact of just a small amount of volatilization drift. 
Photos: Esther Kibbe, Cornell University.

Author: Annie Klodd, Extension Educator - Fruit and Vegetable Production
Thank you to the Great Lakes Fruit Workers group for contributing content to this article, particularly Pam Fisher, Melanie Ivey, Esther Kibbe, Mark Longstroth, Kristen Obeid, Marvin Pritts, and Kevin Schooley.

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