Blueberry News Blog

Aiding growers in making irrigation and cold protection decisions

Recent enhancements to FAWN allow for easier navigation on station-specific pages, plus an app for smartphone access THE FLORIDA AUTOMATED WEATHER NETWORK (FAWN), a program of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), uses data from its network of 42 stations for a variety of weather-related tools that can aid growers in making irrigation and cold protection decisions. Growers rely on FAWN weather data to monitor current conditions, and FAWN tools for making decision related to irrigation, freeze protection, and chemical application. FAWN has been proven very useful in helping growers save both water and dollars. For example, UF/IFAS estimates show use of FAWN tools on cold nights can potentially generate savings of millions of dollars and billions of gallons of water statewide. […]

By | September 29th, 2016|Blueberry News Blog, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Aiding growers in making irrigation and cold protection decisions

Financial Analysis After Harvest: Assessing Current Status, Improving Cash Flow, and Protecting Future Earnings

BY NOW, FLORIDA BLUEBERRY GROWERS have finished counting their till and are coming up short — more so for the commercially harvested than u-pick operations. The 2016 blueberry season was one of the most challenging we have seen during the recent expansion of the Florida blueberry industry. The culmination of events stemming from lack of chill hours to the cool spring affects of the El Niño weather pattern kept Florida growers from hitting the coveted market sweet spot that is critical for profitable returns. […]

By | July 12th, 2016|Blueberry News Blog, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Financial Analysis After Harvest: Assessing Current Status, Improving Cash Flow, and Protecting Future Earnings

Looking for Answers: Crop Insurance and the Florida Blueberry Market

THIS PAST SEASON raised some questions about blueberry crop insurance. To find answers we need to look at how the crop insurance impacted our local markets. First, let’s take a few steps back. We need to examine the basic policy design and the geographic area the blueberry crop insurance services. is information will help uncover the answers to questions and provide solutions to help Florida blueberry growers better manage growing risks. […]

By | July 12th, 2016|Blueberry News Blog, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Looking for Answers: Crop Insurance and the Florida Blueberry Market

2016 Challenges Harvesting: Lessons Learned from the Effects of Weather on the Season

THE 2016 HARVEST SEASON was very challenging for most Florida blueberry growers. Production was very low during the typical late March/early April traditional “Florida blueberry harvest window.” By the time significant volumes of Florida fruit were ready for harvest, ample volumes of berries from other southeastern states, California, and Mexico had entered the marketplace and lowered demand for Florida blueberries. Most of the problems faced by Florida growers this season were weather-related. […]

By | July 12th, 2016|Blueberry News Blog, Uncategorized|Comments Off on 2016 Challenges Harvesting: Lessons Learned from the Effects of Weather on the Season

Marketing Update: USHBC Efforts to Increase Consumer Demand

Positively Affecting the Blueberry Industry with ‘Little Changes’ Campaign   by ERIKA ALDRICH   Blueberries pack a mighty nutritious punch, and they’re perfect for the on-the-go lifestyles of today’s families.  Those exact talking points are [...]

By | April 5th, 2016|Blueberry News Blog, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Ag Perspective on the 2016 Legislative Session

Q&A with Bill Braswell on Recent Bills Past Bill Braswell, the current candidate for District 3 Polk County Commissioner and the past president of the Florida Blueberry Growers Association, answered some questions for The Blueberry [...]

By | April 5th, 2016|Blueberry News Blog, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Pollinator Workshop Q&A

With Jeanette Klopchin, Pollinator Protection Specialist, Division of Agricultural Environmental Services, FDACS   photo by SARAH ASCHLIMAN   At the Florida Blueberry Pollination Workshop held on December 2, 2015 at the Lake County UF/IFAS Extension [...]

By | April 5th, 2016|Blueberry News Blog, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Spring Irrigation of Florida Blueberries

Avoiding Water Stress During the Fruit Development Period by JEFF WILLIAMSON, Extension specialist, Horticultural Sciences Department, IFAS, University of Florida Gainesville, and GARY ENGLAND, multi-county Extension agent, IFAS, University of Florida, Lake County   The fruit development period (bloom to harvest) is a critical period for optimum blueberry plant water status.  March, April, and May are often dry months in Florida, and while this may be beneficial for disease control and berry quality, it emphasizes the need for proper irrigation management to avoid water stress during this critical period.  Most new blueberry plantings are equipped with some type of low-volume irrigation system for routine irrigation, as well as overhead irrigation for freeze protection.  This article will discuss irrigation needs other than those for freeze protection.  Plant water requirements are relatively low during dormancy, but increase significantly with the onset of bloom and early shoot emergence.  Under Florida conditions, a rapid increase in plant water use is typically observed between February and mid-March (depending on location, cultivar, and weather patterns) as new leaf surface area begins to develop following bloom.  Plant water use continues to increase during spring as day lengths and temperatures increase, fruit continue to develop, and leaf surface area continues to increase.  The final stages of fruit development are associated with a rapid increase in berry size just prior to ripening (typically occurring in April and May, depending on location and cultivar).  This is a critical period for maintaining optimum plant water status during a period of relatively high plant water demand.  After harvest, summer pruning that removes a significant amount of the canopy leaf surface area can result in a temporary decline in plant water use, but as the summer flush develops, days continue to lengthen, and temperatures continue to increase, plant water use will increase. […]

By | April 5th, 2016|Blueberry News Blog, Uncategorized|0 Comments
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