Preparing for the Freeze

Your Winter Crop Survival Checklist 

Read More

President's Letter: The Blueberry Grower’s Pancake

… Or how Florida growers are getting squeezed between cost increases and pricing pressures.

Read More

Grower’s Thoughts: Minimize the Risk of Anthracnose Fruit Rot

Anthracnose fruit rot (AFR) is the most significant disease that directly affects the fruit of blueberries in Florida. In years past, AFR, also known as ripe rot, has been of minor concern for Florida growers; however, within the last three to five years, reports of substantial losses are on the rise. In this article, we will try to understand the disease cycle, factors that can promote disease, and management tools to reduce disease risk in your field. AFR is a real heartbreaker that can not only reduce the amount of harvestable fruit just as the year’s investment starts to pay out but then come back with the sucker punch of reducing the quality and quantity of the harvested berries due to fruit spoilage, lower pack-outs, and shorter shelf life. 

Read More

Publisher's Interlude: Turning Point

Nobody ever said farming was easy. There will always be anticipated trials and victories, and there will even be unexpected challenges. So it’s a good thing Florida blueberry growers are so resilient in the face of adversity. No other time has made that more evident than the past two years. Blindsided by a pandemic that left many with no way to unload their crops only to see their hard work get lost in the tsunami of cheap foreign exports, particularly from Mexico, growers faced a crucial deciding point. Some smaller farms, unable to compete with the influx, were forced to shutter operations. Still, last year marked a turning point of sorts because as it turns out, the 2021 season was pretty decent for most Florida growers. Here’s why.

Read More

Executive Director's Letter: Coming Together in the Fight for Our Industry

As the new year gets underway, the Florida blueberry industry has much to look forward to. Blueberries have a bright future!

Read More

A Persistent Pest

Control Measures for Blueberry Gall Midge 

Blueberry gall midge (BGM) is a longstanding and persistent pest of blueberries in Florida, especially in North-Central Florida and some areas of Central Florida. Adult BGM lay eggs in floral and vegetative buds as the scales begin to open, and the larvae feed on the developing tissue in the buds (Figure 1). With floral buds, this leads to damage, necrosis, and death of the buds, resulting in reduced yields. The injury from gall midge can appear as brown, dried-out buds that disintegrate and fall from the stems resulting in reduced bloom, and situations where only one or two florets emerge from a damaged floral bud instead of a more typical 5 or 6 florets. In vegetative buds, new emerging shoots and foliage are damaged and appear as black and distorted tissue. 

Read More

Water Matters

Basics of Blueberry Irrigation Management for Florida Growers

credit: JEFF WILLIAMSON & DOUG PHILLIPS

Read More

Seizing a Key Opportunity for Blueberry Promotion

With health and nutrition being key benefits of blueberries, National Nutrition Month®in March is a natural fit for the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) to rally around and leverage as its first “power period” of 2022. 

Read More