BLOG

Pollinator Protection

from the 2017 Southeastern Blueberry Integrated Management Guide

Read More

Waste Not Want Not

Growers’ Perspective on Optimizing Irrigation Methods for Blueberry Crops

Read More

Tips for Marketing Your Farm's U-Pick

As each season comes and goes, I hear about more farms opening their  elds to the public and inviting them for a u-pick or we-pick experience. This does not surprise me, because when done right, it’s an alternative method to help get berries off the bush and supplement income for the agriculture operation.

Read More

Florida Blueberry Festival Preview

Get a Bird’s Eye View of All the Entertainment and Pomp That Will be Putting the Spotlight on Florida’s Little Blue Dynamos

Read More

Food for Thought as the Season Gets Kicked into High Gear

Focusing on the 4Rs of Nutrient Stewardship

Read More

‘Fresh From Florida’ a boost for blueberries

Read More

Overcoming the Challenges of the Season

Growers Seek to Protect the Industry from Mexican Competition and Innovate through Good, Old Fashioned Ingenuity


Florida blueberry growers are battling Mexican farmers for their lucrative spring marketing window.  With the Mexican blueberry crop up 70 percent, supplying more than double the estimated Florida crop of 18 to 20 million pounds in 2017, the Florida Blueberry Growers Association is supporting an update of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Read More

Crop Insurance 101— Back to the Basics

Make Sure the Farm is Up-to-Date on All Crop Insurance Dates and Coverage


Blueberry crop insurance has been available in Florida for over 15 years.  It started as a pilot program in Alachua and Highlands counties and is now available in 14 counties.  There have been improvements in the traditional crop insurance as well as the introduction of the newer Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP).  There are many Florida blueberry growers protecting their investments with crop insurance.  There are still many new farmers who are unfamiliar with it.  From time to time, it is always a good idea to review the basics.  Crop insurance is no exception.

Read More

Publisher's Interlude: Innovation is A Necessity for Florida Blueberry Growers

Successful farmers are the most innovative bunch you’ll ever meet.  On the flipside of those successful farmers, however, are the people formerly known as “farmers”— the ones who didn’t innovate, change with the times, and try new things.  The failure to innovate comes down to a handful of excuses:

Read More

President's Letter: Reflecting on the 2017 Harvesting Season

Read More

Reach Out to Your Local USDA Farm Service Agency Office Now

Read More

Assessing Damage from Irma

Blueberry Crop Insurance Coverage Reminders


Reports on the extent of damage in the blueberry industry from Hurricane Irma varies across the state— from plants being pulled out of the ground to leaves blown off, and really depends on the location of the farm in Irma’s path.  We will not know the full extent of the damage until the blueberry harvest concludes next spring.

Read More

Mechanical Harvesting Update

Preview of Speakers’ Presentations at the Upcoming FBGA Fall Meeting and Trade Show


Over the past 30 years, blueberry production has grown by leaps and bounds.  However, current methods of hand-picking berries for the fresh market have resulted in bottlenecks in terms of sustainable production.  More growers are looking at the benefits of mechanical harvesting in order to increase their yields throughout the season.  Historically, one of the main problems with machine harvesting is the bruising of the fruit caused by the berries falling into the collecting trays.  Another issue has been ground loss of berries due to them not falling into the trays.  Researchers are taking these problems into consideration and devising new harvesting techniques to help reduce bruising and loss.

Read More

Grower 411

HURRICANE IRMA AGRICULTURE RELIEF PROGRAMS


The damage from Hurricane Irma has caused significant financial loss to Florida growers in sales revenue from crops lost or delayed and clean up expense.  This article is a compilation of disaster programs and resources to assist the agriculture industry.  Most importantly, be sure to document all of your damages and expenses associated with the hurricane— save receipts, take photos and videos, and make notes for applying for assistance programs.  Scan the QR codes with your smart device for additional information.

Read More

From Blueberry Field to Better School Lunch

Initiative Seeks to Build Mutually Beneficial Relationship Between Local Farms and Schools


Bob Wilhelm packed the blueberries in five-pound boxes.  The schools served them in fruit cups and used them to teach math.  “They [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"][the children] loved it.  They sent some great pictures of the kids eating them for snacks,” says Wilhelm, owner of the Boca Raton-based Bova Fresh.  “They seemed to make it very interactive with the kids.  It was nice to see.”

Read More

Winter Weather Outlook and Blueberry Freeze Protection


Considering the Forecast, Field Conditions, Passive Freeze Protection, and Proper Irrigation System Operation


CLIMATE OUTLOOK


Over the past several blueberry seasons, growers have begun utilizing climatology for determining the overall weather trends they can expect during the winter and spring. A phenomenon known as the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has been a main indicator of the overall weather pattern growers can expect.

ENSO affects surface water temperatures in the southern Pacific Ocean and the track of upper-level wind currents (jet stream) within North America. The location of the jet stream affects the tracks of weather systems as they move across the continent.




Read More

Around the Corner

Getting Ahead with these Spring Weed Management Reminders


Weeds compete with blueberry for water and nutrients, which inhibits bush growth and yield. Weed control options include preventative, mechanical, and chemical weed control options. A proper ID of weeds is important for selecting the correct method of control.

Read More

Do Rootstocks Have a Place in Commercial Blueberry Production?

Ongoing research in our program is evaluating the potential use of sparkleberry (Vaccinium arboreum) as a rootstock for southern highbush blueberry (SHB). Blueberry plants are shallow-rooted and require soils with low pH and high organic matter content. Under current management systems in the southeastern U.S., SHB is frequently subjected to a variety of stresses including periodic drought stress, and adverse soil conditions such as insufficient soil organic matter and/ or high soil pH. Moreover, the multi-cane SHB crown is not adapted to the current mechanical harvester designs because catch plates do not seal effectively around the base of plants. The result is fruit dropping to the ground during machine harvesting (see Figure 1).

Read More

Blueberry Fruit Drop – Pollination Issues?

Read More

Q&A on AgriTourism

Read More