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Sighting in on a target spot disease management plan

Post-harvest foliage management is important for blueberries produced in both deciduous and evergreen systems in Florida.  Healthy leaves maintained through flower bud differentiation in fall will ensure sufficient carbohydrate (sugar) reserves for uniform, early, berry production and leafing the following spring in deciduous production.  In evergreen systems, foliar diseases that carry over on leaves reduce the vigor of plants, but also can produce spores that infect fruit.  Anthracnose and rust pathogens infect both leaves and fruit and can lead to post harvest fruit rot (ripe rot) and fruit quality issues (rust infection of fruit).  Some varieties are more susceptible to summer foliar diseases than others.  Jewel is an older variety still widely grown that suffers from several foliar fungal diseases during the hot humid Florida summers.

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FARMS Program Great for Growers

<strong>Helping Farmers Develop Efficient Water Practices</strong>

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US Blueberry Growers Will Have to Look Toward Technology to Compete

It appears that specialty crops – including blueberries – are taking a back seat in the current negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement as arguments over tariffs and other higher priority items are being discussed.

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Citrus Root Weevil Update

Pest Becoming a Significant Problem for Blueberries in Central Florida

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Bacterial Wilt of Blueberry Caused by Ralstonia Solanacearum

Researchers share Initial Findings of Disease and What to Do if Detected in Your Crops

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Flatheaded borers and Chilli thrips update

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When Cold Protection Becomes Critical

At the Heart of the Cost Share Program, ‘My Florida Farm Weather,’ Are Valuable Decision-Making Tools

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Please Join Us for the Florida Blueberry Growers Association Spring Field Day

The Florida Blueberry Growers Association SPRING FIELD DAY will be held Tuesday, March 12th, 2019 at the University of Florida-IFAS Plant Science Research and Education Unit from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm in Citra, FL.  The day will consist of presentations, field tour, a group lunch as well as the opportunity to visit with 20 vendors to the blueberry industry.  Lunch is included in your paid registration (name badge will be used as your meal ticket.)

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Blueberry Freeze Protection Fundamentals

Florida southern highbush blueberries need freeze protection to minimize damage to flower buds, blooms, and young fruit. This is typically done using overhead irrigation, which involves putting out large volumes of water to reduce the impact of cold temperatures on susceptible floral and fruit tissues.

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Blueberry Breeding Program

A Team Effort to Assist Blueberry Stakeholders in Florida


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Celebrating Florida Blueberries

March Blueberry Festival a Draw for Blueberry Fans Near and Far


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Fighting Bacterial Wilt

Updated Research Regarding the Latest Disease in Florida Blueberries

by Phil Harmon, Ph.D. UF IFAS Blueberry Pathologist and Extension Specialist and

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Blueberry Forecasting

New Block Grant Could Help Predict Yields


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Improving Pollination Practices

Continuing Research on Florida Blueberry Pollination Factors

by Dr. Rachel Mallinger, Assistant Professor, Department of Entomology and Nematology, UF

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Save The Date!


Florida Blueberry Growers Association


Date:          Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

Location:    UF/IFAS Citra Facility
2556 West Highway 318, Citra, Florida 32113

More details and registration information to follow. 

Presentations from the FBGA Fall 2018 Meeting and Trade Show

Click on the links below to download guest speaker presentations from the Fall 2018 Growers Meeting and Trade Show hosted by the Florida Blueberry Growers Association at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Ocala Conference Center.

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Years of Research on Blueberry Sprayers Gives Growers Invaluable Insight


It is very common practice for growers to spray blueberry crops with insecticides, but experts say if they are going to spray blueberries, they best do it right.

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Winter Freeze Checklist

Virtually all blueberry fields in Florida are subject to late winter or early spring freezes which can cause serious reductions in yield. Below is a list of activities for freeze preparation. The list was originally published by Mike Mainland in the North Carolina Blueberry News, Vol. 7, No. 1 and has been modified by IFAS faculty and FBGA board members.

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Recognizing Injury Symptoms from Blueberry Gall Midge

Blueberry growers throughout the state of Florida experienced what appears to be high blueberry gall midge (BGM) damage during the spring 2018 growing season. The damage appears to be more pronounced in the Central Florida counties of Sumter, Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Hillsborough, and Polk, as well as north-central counties of Alachua, Bradford, Putnam, and Marion.  Typically, gall midge will attack young developing floral and leaf buds and will cause floral buds to abort or fall off the bush resulting in poor flowering and ‘fruit set.’ With heavy gall midge damage to floral buds, there would typically be a lighter bloom since many of these buds will abort (e.g., only 1 or 2 florets may be seen instead of the usual 5 to 6, and therefore fruit clusters with only 1 or 2 fruit per cluster). It should be noted that damage to flower buds (browning, shriveling, and disintegration) can also be caused by freeze and application of hydrogen cyanamide. Poor fruit set and excessive dropping of undeveloped green fruit can be caused by poor pollination.

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Best Pollination Practices in Southern Highbush Blueberries in Florida

Southern highbush blueberry (SHB) is the primary blueberry species grown in Florida. It is dependent upon pollinating insects for adequate pollination and fruit set. Some Florida growers reported cases of low fruit set this past season, in particular on Meadowlark and Emerald, which may have been due in part to poor pollination. In most of these cases, growers observed a heavy bloom followed by poor fruit set, with undeveloped fruit dropping from the plants. Although there may be other causes for this scenario, including heavy flower thrips damage to blossoms, this description is generally indicative of poor pollination. Other symptoms of inadequate pollination include an extended period after flower opening before petal fall, petals turning brown while still on the bush, and a low number of seeds in fruit that does develop. This article will present current best practices to reduce the possibility of poor pollination of SHB.

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