Freeze Events Impacted Southeast Blueberry Producers

Jim Rogers Blueberries

By Clint Thompson Florida’s conventional blueberry growers dodged the proverbial disease bullet this past season following a late January freeze event that impacted the Southeast. Georgia’s producers were not so fortunate with a mid-March freeze event, says Phil Harmon, professor and Extension plant pathologist at the University of Florida. “The big story early in the year was the late freeze. …

Blueberry Cultivation in Soilless Substrates

Jim Rogers Berries, Soil

By Gerardo H. Nunez Blueberry production in containers filled with soilless substrates is rapidly expanding throughout the world and in the Southeast. Blueberry bushes are notorious for their strict soil requirements. They prefer well-drained, acidic soils with high organic matter. These soil characteristics are not common in many parts of the world. Thus, blueberries have traditionally been grown with soil …

Fall Blueberry Conference Scheduled for Oct. 20

Jim Rogers Berries

Florida blueberry growers can mark their calendars for the Florida Blueberry Growers Association’s annual Fall Conference and Trade Show, scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Mission Inn Resort and Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida. Registration details will be released soon, as will information regarding the meeting’s agenda, educational sessions, sponsorship opportunities and vendor information.

Blueberry Management for July

Jim Rogers Berries, Disease

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) reminds Florida producers about what blueberry management tactics they need to consider as the calendar turns to July. Growers should scout for algal stem blotch, a key disease in southern highbush blueberries. It can stunt growth and cause yellowing in leaves. Farmers should also monitor and manage leaf diseases. They …

Management Update for Spotted-Wing Drosophila

Jim Rogers Berries, Pests

By Clint Thompson Even in a year when hot and dry weather conditions prevailed across the Southeast region, spotted-wing drosophila was still a problem for blueberry producers. Ash Sial, University of Georgia entomologist, discusses the challenging characteristics of the spotted-wing drosophila and what growers should remember for future seasons. “This is the unique thing about this pest is that dry …

close up photo of blueberries

UF/IFAS to Host Summer Blueberry Meeting

Jim Rogers Berries, Research

Florida blueberry growers should save the date for an upcoming blueberry meeting on Wednesday, July 6, hosted by University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). The program will last three hours, including an hour for lunch. It will be held at the Lake County Extension Office at 1951 Woodlea Road, Tavares, Florida. The summer blueberry grower meeting …

It is Japanese Beetle Season

Jim Rogers Berries, Grapes, Pests

The Japanese beetle is showing up in Georgia vineyards, according to the University of Georgia (UGA) Extension Viticulture Blog. In large enough numbers, Japanese beetles can be a severe pest of grapes during the summer, feeding mainly on foliage and rarely on the berries. New plantings are most susceptible. Older, established vines can withstand some feeding damage, but young vines …

Georgia Farmer Testifies About Imports Impact During Senate Hearing

Jim Rogers Berries, Exports/Imports, Georgia

By Clint Thompson A Senate hearing held on June 9 allowed one Georgia blueberry producer to discuss the challenge of competing against imports from other countries. Karla Thompson, representing JET Farms in Camilla, Georgia, testified in a hearing held by the Senate Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management and Trade. The discussion highlighted rising imports and their impact on Georgia producers. …