Various types of leaf deformation may occur on poinsettia. Often, the damage begins when the leaves are very small. As plants grow, the mature leaves cover the damaged young leaves, so plants are still marketable.
Easter falls on April 16 in 2017, a late Easter date. Just as in the late seasons of 2014 (April 20), the 2017 schedule provides plenty of time for proper bulb programming as well as some extra time that growers will need to factor into their spring production plans. Last year, Easter fell on a very early date (March 27th) and growers had to push hard all the way to the end to time the crop out properly. Pushing a crop hard to make an early Easter or pulling back hard to slow growth for a late Easter is not ideal and can diminish quality.
It is a good time to clean empty greenhouses rather than to wait until just before starting spring production. Cleaning now helps to eliminate over-wintering sites for pests in unheated greenhouses, especially if the winter is unseasonably warm.
The drought this summer has been a challenge for some growers. Many towns have water bans and some towns have discouraged new plantings. Some retailers have reported that the hot, dry weather has also reduced demand for plants. Depending upon the water source, another consequence of the drought may be the quality of water being used for irrigation. Equipment clogged with sediment (surface water), or high salt (Na and Cl) concentration in irrigation water due to low water levels are possible considerations.
A MA grower has reported adult flea beetles, which appear to be Redheaded Flea Beetles (cranberry flea beetle) feeding on foliage of mums. Shiny black beetles are about 3/16 -1/4” long with a reddish head (in good light). Antennae are light colored near the head and dark near the tips. Adults feed primarily on young foliage (mostly at night), chewing holes and causing leaf spot damage primarily on the upper surface of the foliage.