Infestation by blueberry gall midge, Dasineura oxycoccana Johnson, is common in northern highbush blueberries, but its effects on crop productivity are unknown. We examined whether infestation by blueberry gall midge reduces flower bud production when compared with uninfested shoots, and how infestation at different times affects the crop response. From the fall of 2009 to the spring of 2011, the number of flower buds on infested and uninfested shoots of blueberry bushes was counted and compared. Despite causing branching of vegetative growth, there was no significant effect of infestation on flower bud production. During the summer of 2010, damaged shoots were marked throughout the growing season in June, July, or August. The number of flower buds set per shoot declined with later infestation dates, and shoots damaged in August had significantly fewer buds than those damaged in June and July. We discuss the implications of these findings for management of blueberry gall midge in northern highbush blueberry.
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Vol. 108 • No. 4