Freeze Protection Vital for Florida Blueberry Growers This Weekend

Jim Rogers Berries, Florida, Weather

By Clint Thompson Low temperatures in the forecast this weekend means Florida blueberry producers need to apply freeze protection to their crops, says Doug Phillips, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) blueberry Extension coordinator. “It’ll definitely get low enough to where folks will be freeze protecting. I know in central Florida, depending on the site because …

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Organic Blueberry Production: Challenging but Profitable

Jim Rogers Berries, Organic

By Clint Thompson Organic blueberry production can be a profitable venture for aspiring producers in the Southeast. While market prices are higher than in conventional systems, growers need to be mindful of the various production challenges. These range from weed control options to selecting the right fertilizer. Gerard Krewer, a Professor Emeritus at the University of Georgia, discusses the obstacles …

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Georgia and Florida Blueberries in Bloom Very Early

Jim Rogers Berries, Florida, Georgia

By Frank Giles The early blueberry season was highlighted during last weekend’s Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference in Savannah, Georgia. One topic kept trending for growers in attendance, too many blooms, way too early. Some growers are reporting up to 30% bloom in Georgia. That makes for a challenging winter for producers hoping to avoid hard freezes as the …

Blueberry Market Trends and Implications for Growers

Jim Rogers Berries, Florida

By Kimberly L. Morgan The U.S. commercial blueberry industry value of utilized production was $933 million in 2020. An unchanging trend since 1970, the U.S. consumer continues to eat less than 40% of the federal dietary guidelines of fruits and vegetables [U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 2021] and only 12% meet fruit intake requirements (Seung Hee Lee-Kwan et al., 2017). …

Harvests, Sanitation Key to Preventing Yeast Rot in Blueberries

Jim Rogers Berries, Disease

By Clint Thompson Timely harvests and sanitation practices are two ways blueberry growers can avoid yeast rot becoming a major problem in 2022. The disease devastated South Georgia’s rabbiteye blueberries in 2020. Phil Harmon, professor and Extension plant pathologist at the University of Florida, says there’s not a viable chemical option for farmers to implement. Management will have to involve …

Blueberry App Puts Information at Growers’ Fingertips

Jim Rogers Berries, Florida, Technology

By Doug Phillips The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) blueberry breeding program has developed a phone app resource that includes several tools for Florida blueberry growers. It is available for download on both iOS and Android systems. Blueberry breeder Patricio Muñoz developed the idea for the UF/IFAS Blueberry Growers Guide app. He had a vision …

Blueberry Management Tips for January

Jim Rogers Berries, Florida

January remains a busy time of year for Florida blueberry farmers managing this year’s crop. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) reminds growers that it is essential to monitor for disease development, especially with Botrytis flower blight. Once bloom occurs, growers need to monitor for the disease during cool and wet periods. Producers need to …