New UF/IFAS Blueberry Cultivar: Albus

Jim Rogers Berries, Research

By Clint Thompson University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) blueberry breeder Patricio Munoz is ready to release UF/IFAS’ newest cultivar this fall, Albus. Munoz described what growers can expect from Albus. “This is a high yielding, good flavored cultivar that’s going to be targeting the central part of the state where we have a lot of …

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Lack of Rain, No Problem for Alabama Specialty Crops

Jim Rogers Alabama, Berries, Weather

By Clint Thompson It may have been a dry spring and early summer across the Southeast, but some specialty crops actually thrived under the drought-like conditions. Chip East, Alabama regional Extension agent, discussed the impact the lack of rainfall has had on his farmers’ specialty crops in East Alabama. “Strawberries were good. Blueberries and blackberries are irrigated, and they look …

Storms’ Impact on Blueberries

Jim Rogers Berries, Research, Weather

By Clint Thompson Last weekend’s heavy rains in South Florida reminds the state’s blueberry producers the vulnerability of their crop during hurricane season. The combination of strong winds and prolonged rain showers provide a threat to blueberries, says Doug Phillips, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) blueberry Extension coordinator. “It depends on whether we get wind, …

Post-Harvest Control of Bud Mites Essential for Blueberry Producers

Jim Rogers Berries, Pests, Research

By Clint Thompson Multiple control methods are available for blueberry producers trying to manage bud mites. It starts post-harvest when scouting and management of the pests are most important, says Ash Sial, University of Georgia entomologist. “While they don’t seem to be a serious issue in most situations, in some situations they can causes extremely high levels of damage. Last …

Blueberry Management: What to do in June

Jim Rogers Berries, Disease, Research

Florida blueberry harvests have ended for the 2022 season, but management continues this summer. According to University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, growers need to be actively scouting for algal stem blotch. The disease is significant on southern highbush blueberries. It will stunt growth and cause leaf yellowing, as well as increased susceptibility to Botryosphaeria. Producers need …

Florida Field Day Features the Potential of Blackberries

Jim Rogers Berries

By Frank Giles In late May, the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC) hosted growers interested in the prospect of producing blackberries in Florida. Several University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) scientists have been studying the crop in recent years. Zhanao Deng, UF/IFAS professor of environmental horticulture, is conducting trials of existing blackberry varieties at …

Georgia Blueberry Crop Struggling Following March Freeze Event

Jim Rogers Berries, Georgia, Weather

By Clint Thompson The impact the March 13 freeze event had on Georgia’s blueberry crop might be worse than expected. Not only did the sub-freezing temperatures devastate the berries already on the bushes, they led to diseases and fruit quality issues, says Jonathan Oliver, University of Georgia (UGA) assistant professor and small fruits pathologist. “I think a lot of the …

Florida’s Blueberry Production: May Management Tips

Jim Rogers Berries, Florida

Harvests may be nearing an end for Florida’s blueberry producers, but management should continue during May. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) recommends that growers monitor for leaf diseases like rust, anthracnose, Septoria, target spot and Phyllosticta. Florida’s blueberry producers should continue with insecticide sprays for spotted wing drosophila to protect against any remaining ripe fruit …