A new fruit catching device developed for raspberry straddle harvesters to reduce wounding of young canes and their consequent infection by L. coniothyrium was tested. During picking the young canes were contacted only by the foam rubber on a pair of belts which moved backwards along the harvester at the same speed as that at which the machine advanced. The incidence of canes with cane blight lesions in 1981 was 18% following the use of the new device in 1980, and 79% following the use of a conventional commercial harvester equipped with overlapping metal fruit-catching plates. In comparison with the latter plates, the new device avoided wounding the cane surface directly; when the belt marks on these canes were inoculated with mycelium, however, the disease incidence was 77%. The new device caused wounds in 1980 by ripping leaves from nodes. In comparison with the commercial harvester the new device led to smaller lesions in 1981 and a lower percentage of canes dead above the fruit-catching zone. A modified new catching device tested in 1982 made barely detectable pressure marks on the young canes withouth bruising them. Only 6.6% of these canes developed vascular lesions after inoculation, an incidence similar to that for unwounded control canes (2.5%). The modified new device is advised for regions prone to cane blight where the cropping system has young and fruiting canes growing together.