The Importance of Planning

The Importance of Planning

I hope you made it to the FBGA Spring Field Day at the UF Citra Research Station. If you did, you got to join fellow blueberry growers and our dedicated University of Florida staff of experts. Our program was jam packed with important presentations indoors and in-field covering subjects on pollination, pH and nutrition, phosphorus nutrition research, weed research, grafting research, an honest summary of the effectiveness of biostimulants in agriculture, and more.

Blueberry growers know they have to plan well in advance to be successful, and a key to that success is actually learning what to plan for. So you need to learn how to grow well, you need to build a brain trust of grower friends and allied business experts. You need a forum for sharing ideas and new innovations. Just as important, you need to develop an understanding of how the blueberry industry and its markets work. 

One of the best ways to learn what to plan for is to gather with other Florida growers at a venue programmed to address these subjects in a unique blueberry-focused event.  The FBGA has such an event already scheduled so you can make sure you plan well ahead to attend. So mark your calendar for Wednesday, October 25, so you can learn what to plan for. The 2023 FBGA Fall Meeting and Short Course will convene at the beautiful new Bonnet Springs Park facility conveniently situated on 168 acres of natural beauty. 

Visit and invite your spouse to come, too. It’s just outside of downtown Lakeland off the I-4 corridor.  

Join us to learn how to grow blueberries better, to meet blueberry growers like yourself, to visit a trade show targeted to your operation, to earn CEUs and to learn more about the industry that provides your livelihood. 

I hope you make it.

Leonard Park

President, Florida Blueberry Growers Association 

Postscript Harvest 2023

During Florida’s harvest window, March through May, a lot of white water is going over the proverbial dam. As I write to you, it’s late March and seems, once again, that our harvest window will coincide with a peak of economic and geopolitical uncertainty. Remember the Covid harvest season of 2020? Now we face a laundry list of issues: high inflation, teetering banks, a looming recession, the expected spring offensive in Ukraine, escalating threats from China, not to mention the ever increasing volume of Mexican fruit already flooding our Florida harvest window. And for many of our growers, a challenging recovery from Hurricane Ian. 

Despite it all, we are most fortunate to grow a crop ever increasing in demand both here in the USA and more recently around the world.  We really do have some of the best fruit grown anywhere. Consumers are finally coming to understand why they should take home our blueberries. Florida-grown fruit is American grown, local, safe, secure, fresh, healthy, and full of flavor. These trump our laundry list of problems.

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