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Crop insurance: Let’s take a second look

Where are we now with blueberry crop insurance and the Florida blueberry market? IN THE LAST ISSUE of The Blueberry News, I had the opportunity to talk about blueberry crop insurance and damage claims from the low chill hours during the 2015- 16 season. There are still some unanswered questions. At the same time, the Florida Blueberry Growers Association (FBGA) board has been working diligently to make things happen, and we are seeing some positive results. […]

By | September 29th, 2016|

Grower 411: Study shows opportunities for growers

Industry can generate more consumer demand for blueberries through agritourism and health benefit awareness, UF report states ALL-NATURAL. LOCALLY GROWN. ORGANIC. American taste buds and buying habits are changing as the demand for healthy, sustainable food sources increase. Items like kale and acai have seen their popularity skyrocket, as consumers consider the health benefits before they decide what to put in their mouths. But a recent University of Florida study shows there is opportunity to increase demand by educating consumers on the health benefits of one of the Sunshine State’s top superfoods — blueberries. […]

By | September 29th, 2016|

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. […]

By | September 29th, 2016|

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). […]

By | September 29th, 2016|

Tracking winter chill accumulation

Last year’s chill hours and tracking temperatures for 2016-17 winter The 2015-16 Florida winter was one of the warmest in recent memory. Many production areas in Florida received little to no chill accumulation by early January, which greatly complicated management decisions, such as if, or when, hydrogen cyanamide (HC) should be applied. Even the low-chill blueberry cultivars grown in Florida require some winter chilling to grow normally the following spring, unless the “non-dormant” or “evergreen” system is employed. […]

By | September 29th, 2016|
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