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About Jonathan Oliver

Dr. Jonathan Oliver is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Georgia. He has a 75% research and 25% extension appointment. Dr. Oliver started in his current position at the University of Georgia in mid-2017 as an extension fruit pathologist at the Coastal Plains Experiment Station in Tifton, Georgia. His responsibilities include research and extension activities focused on pathogen biology and disease management in fruit crops grown primarily in the southern part of Georgia, including blueberries, blackberries, citrus, and other emerging fruit crops. Dr. Oliver obtained a BS degree in Plant Pathology and Microbiology & Cell Science from the University of Florida in 2005, and a PhD in Plant Microbe Biology from Cornell University, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY in 2011. In addition, he has also been postdoctoral researcher at Kansas State University and Auburn University. At Auburn, he characterized the interactions between the emerging bacterial pathogen, Xylella fastidiosa, and its blueberry plant hosts. He currently serves as a Plant Pathology Section editor for the Southeast Regional Blueberry Integrated Management Guide.

Algal Stem Blotch on Blueberry

Current Situation             Wet weather across Georgia’s blueberry production belt during 2021 has led to some usual and some unusual disease issues in recent months. Through mid-September, 2021 rainfall in Alma, Georgia is running about 12 inches above normal, and rainfall in Homerville, Georgia is over 16 inches above normal….
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Resource Announcement: Propagating Disease-Free Blueberry Plants from Softwood Cuttings

A new bulletin on blueberry propagation from UGA Cooperative Extension has recently been published. In this bulletin, authors Haralson, Brannen, and Oliver present a set of best practices for blueberry propagation that will help to minimize losses and improve the quality of plants produced. The bulletin is available through UGA…
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Field evaluation of spray programs for management of anthracnose fruit rot of blueberry

By: Jonathan E. Oliver (UGA Fruit Pathologist), James Jacobs (UGA County Extension Coordinator, Pierce, Charlton, and Brantley Counties), Zack Williams (UGA County Extension Agent, Bacon County), Renee Holland (UGA Area Extension Agent – Commercial Blueberry) Background Anthracnose fruit rot of blueberry is caused by the fungi Colletotrichum acutatum and Colletotrichum…
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Multisite Fungicides for Fungicide Resistance Management in Blueberries

In conventional blueberry production, fungicides are frequently used to manage blueberry diseases. Unfortunately, as a result of repeated fungicide usage, the fungi targeted by these chemicals can develop resistance to specific fungicide modes of action.  This ultimately can make these fungicides less effective for disease management.  To reduce the chances…
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Fruit Splits and Yeast Rot in Blueberries

As a follow-up on Dr. Sial’s post from last week, I have also received several calls from Extension Agents about the prevalence of soft fruit and fruit splits. Furthermore, in addition to reports of berry splits, we’ve received reports that yeast rot has been found affecting some of this fruit….
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Mummy Berry Threat is HIGH (as of 2/17/20)

Recent warmer, damp weather has led blueberry growers in the southern region of Georgia to initiate sprays for mummy berry disease. According to the mummy berry model developed by Dr. Harald Scherm (UGA), there is a HIGH RISK for mummy berry disease initiation in southern Georgia as of February 17th, 2020.  Growers…
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Disease management recommendations following 2019 freeze damage

Following recent freezes in the Georgia blueberry production region, the threat exists for subsequent damage from fungal pathogens. On tissues already damaged by freezes, two fungal pathogens of particular concern are Botrytis and Botryosphaeria.  In addition, root zone saturation from overhead freeze protection/subsequent rainfall can lead to issues with Phytophthora…
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Captan Fungicide Review Process

Captan is under a draft risk assessment in the registration review process and the deadline to submit comments was extended to March 15, 2019. You can submit your comments at this link. We appreciate your supporting comments on the benefits of captan – its role in disease management and in fungicide…
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