UPDATE ON EXOBASIDIUM FROM DR. PHIL BRANNEN, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA EXTENSION PATHOLOGIST
As many of you are aware, the fungal Exobasidium issue has become much more prevalent this year in our commercial blueberries. Marin Brewer, a new UGA mycologist in our plant pathology department, picked Exobasidium-infected fruit from her North Carolina blueberries this week. I immediately found this one this morning in my organic blueberries from Georgia. The numbers are low, but infected fruit are obviously slipping through the packing lines, as predicted. Heavily-diseased fields will likely require substantive hand sorting, adding to production costs. The green spot is chewy and vegetative in taste; you probably would not notice if you were eating a handful or using these for cooking purposes. However, as with many fruit diseases, the aesthetics of the fruit finish are important for sales, and customer complaints will always drive the market.
Below is a photo I (Eddie McGriff) took of Exobasidium in some rabbiteye blueberries last year: