Virus devastates strawberry fields in Quebec

Strawberry farmer Louis Marineau explains at his family’s Marineau Farm in Laval north of Montreal, how the strawberry blight is affecting this year’s crop on many Quebec farms.

Photograph by: Peter McCabe, The Gazette

MONTREAL — These days, Martin Marineau is out of bed and working the fields just after sunrise. No matter what the day throws at him, whether it’s sweltering heat, rain or some man-made obstacle, he’ll likely only punch out at around 10 p.m.
Marineau will keep this routine up seven days a week for the next month. It’s the height of strawberry picking season in Quebec and the longtime farmer knows he only has a small window of time to get his harvest in crates and ready for customers.
But like so many of the province’s 700 strawberry farmers, Marineau’s crops have been devastated by the mild yellow edge virus and the strawberry mottle virus.