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Tracking winter chill accumulation

<strong>Last year’s chill hours and tracking temperatures for 2016-17 winter </strong>

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Editor’s Last Word: Focusing on the solutions

WHEN I THINK of the recent challenges growers have faced, I’m reminded of a quote, which I’m sure many of you have heard: “The farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn’t still be a farmer.” Made memorable by Will Rogers, this quote rings true for today’s growers as much as it did in his era (if not more).

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Publisher’s Interlude: A survey to take note of

U.S. CONSUMERS prefer Florida blueberries above all others, and a new online survey conducted by the UF/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education (PIE) in Agriculture and Natural Resources proves it. The study, funded by a Specialty Crop Block Grant from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, surveyed consumers in 31 U.S. states about their preference for buying blueberries in the grocery store. The survey showed that consumers preferred blueberries from Florida over berries from any other top 10 blueberry-producing state. However, the valuable information from the survey doesn’t end there. <!--more-->

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Grower 411: Study shows opportunities for growers

<strong>Industry can generate more consumer demand for blueberries through agritourism and health benefit awareness, UF report states</strong>

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Crop insurance: Let’s take a second look

<strong>Where are we now with blueberry crop insurance and the Florida blueberry market?</strong>

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‘Fresh From Florida’ shines spotlight on blueberries

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Optimizing Biologicals for Success

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President's Letter: Learning from the past and moving forward

One of the great parts of working in Florida agriculture is that every year we get to start fresh. If we learn from past successes or mistakes, then we have another opportunity to do a better job in a new season. But putting last season behind us will not be easy for some. While those fortunate few who had a good season or those who had crop or whole farm revenue insurance will be okay, many other farms are strained‑financially.

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‘Fresh From Florida’ a boost for blueberries, other Sunshine State commodities

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Climate outlook and freeze protection resources

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President’s Letter: Great news for Florida blueberry growers

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Grower 411: The winter freeze checklist

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Proper irrigation of Florida blueberry crops

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Ripe for the Picking

This edition of the Blueberry News will publish as harvest time is really getting kicked into high gear. While the last few months of 2016 did not give our crops as many chill hours as we’ve seen in years past, it was not a complete lack of chill accumulation. That being said, we know all too well that Mother Nature is not always kind to everyone. Our hearts go out to our brother growers in Georgia as they grapple with the  effects of the recent inclement weather. The freeze events to the north that occurred in March may open up opportunities for a longer harvest season for Florida growers. Although it is nearly impossible to predict the volume, most of the Florida fields should have a pretty good harvest.
Remembering last year’s challenges (and, honestly, how can we forget?), here are a few important reminders for harvest time that will hopefully help increase efficiency, volume, and have a positive impact on the price.

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Update on Blueberry Grafting Research in Florida

Making Headway on Studies of Sparkleberry-Grafted Blueberry Plant Varieties

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Weather, Timing, Hard Work, and Luck

By the time you hold this in your hands, by God’s grace our harvest will be well underway. On our family blueberry farm in Medulla, Kirkland Farms, we experienced more chill hours in the latter part of 2016 than we did in 2015. This season, we measured 80 chill hours, compared to the season before, which counted for a mere two. There’s no question, when you look at the historical data, our cultivars perform better when there is at least something close to 100 hours of chill.

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Pollinator Protection

from the 2017 Southeastern Blueberry Integrated Management Guide

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Waste Not Want Not

Growers’ Perspective on Optimizing Irrigation Methods for Blueberry Crops

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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.

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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

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