Female strawberry bud weevils (Anthonomus signatus Say) oviposit in developing flower buds of strawberries (Fragaria spp.), caneberries (Rubus spp.), and red bud (Cercis canadensis). After laying a single egg, weevils will girdle or “clip” the buds at the pedicel, killing the bud and preventing fruit development. This injury is of concern to commercial strawberry growers, who typically assume the loss of one clipped bud is the loss of one average sized fruit, causing the economic threshold to be set extremely low. There is evidence of compensation in some cultivars of strawberries, but research has previously only been conducted in perennial strawberry production. The majority of strawberries in the southeastern United States are grown in annual plasticulture systems. We assessed the ability of five strawberry cultivars commonly grown in annual plasticulture to compensate for A. signatus injury by removing buds at different growth stages. There was no effect of bud removal on total yield in any of the cultivars tested. Harvest timing was affected by simulated A. signatus damage in some cultivars, which may be an important consideration for direct market strawberry growers.

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