New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference – December 17-19, 2013

November 18th, 2013 10:36 AM

New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference and Trade Show
Tuesday through Thursday, December 17-19, 2013
Radisson Hotel in Manchester, New Hampshire

The New England Vegetable and Fruit (NEVF) Conference will include more than 25 educational sessions over 3 days, covering major vegetable, berry and tree fruit crops as well as various special topics. A Farmer to Farmer meeting after each morning and afternoon session will bring speakers and farmers together for informal, in-depth discussion on certain issues. There is also an extensive Trade Show with over 100 exhibitors.

The conference is put together with close collaboration between growers and Cooperative Extension from across the region. This is a great opportunity to meet with fellow growers, advisors, researchers, and industry representatives.

For more information and to register, please visit the NEVF Conference website, www.newenglandvfc.org.

Yarborough Talks to Ellsworth American about Blueberry Demand

October 23rd, 2013 1:40 PM

David Yarborough, a wild blueberry specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with The Ellsworth American about the demand for blueberries. Yarborough said frost early in the growing season in Quebec reduced by half the province’s blueberry harvest. He said a smaller harvest in Canada will result in more demand for Maine’s wild blueberries; estimates predict a higher than average crop of 90 million pounds.

Yarborough Talks to AP about Maine’s Blueberry Crop

October 17th, 2013 12:50 PM

David Yarborough, a wild blueberry specialist and horticulture professor at the University of Maine, spoke with the Associated Press about this year’s blueberry crop. Yarborough said Maine’s wild blueberry fields for the most part escaped widespread damage from a harmful new fruit fly during the summer harvest, resulting in what is expected to be an above-average crop. Boston Herald, The Bellingham Herald, Brattleboro Reformer, Portland Press Herald, WLBZ (Channel 2) and Boston.com were among several news organizations to carry the AP report.

Bangor Metro Features Yarborough in ‘Kitchen Envy’ Article

October 10th, 2013 2:36 PM

A Bangor Metro magazine article titled “Kitchen Envy” featured David Yarborough, a wild blueberry specialist and horitculture professor at the University of Maine, and his wife Nancy Leavitt. Yarborough and Leavitt, a book artist and calligrapher, spoke about what they like to cook in their Stillwater home and how their cooking has evolved over the years.

Drummond’s Research Cited in Scientific American Article on Beekeeping

September 13th, 2013 11:35 AM

A Scientific American article titled “The mind-boggling math of migratory beekeeping” cites research conducted by Frank Drummond, a University of Maine entomologist and blueberry pollination expert, and his colleagues. Drummond’s research, which was conducted among flowering blueberry bushes, determined a honey bee forages for four hours and visits an average of 1,200 flowers a day.

Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) September 3, 2013

September 3rd, 2013 2:40 PM

SWD trap captures in Washington County remained steady and similar to last week. At the University of Maine Blueberry Hill Farm, we continue to capture anywhere from 1 to 30 flies per trap; and the proportion of fruit that have SWD larvae appears to be very low (less than 1 %) as we still have not detected any in our fruit samples.   

The harvest is beginning to wind down in many areas; however, if you still have fruit to harvest you should continue to monitor for this pest and protect your fruit if necessary. This is especially true in the southern and mid-coast part of Maine. In these regions fruit infestation is being found and individual trap captures range from 0 – 200 flies / trap with flies being caught in every field that is being monitored.

SWD captures were continuing to build in Michigan’s highbush blueberry fields last week. Most growers were getting very good control with the recommended insecticides, but some growers were suffering a breakdown and getting infested fruit with SWD…THEREFORE, IF YOU HAVE NOT HARVESTED AND SWD CAPTURES ARE BUILDING, YOU SHOULD BE CONSERVATIVE AND PROTECT YOUR CROP UNLESS YOU CAN HARVEST IT IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS.

WE WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR TRAPS AND CHECK FOR FRUIT INFESTATION THIS WEEK.

NOTE:  Please refer any questions, comments or concerns to Frank Drummond, 1.800.897.0757 (Maine only) or 207.581.2989, frank.drummond@umit.maine.edu or to Dave Yarborough, 1.800.897.0757 or 207.581.2923, davidy@maine.edu.

SWD updates will only be sent out and posted on our blog when we have trap captures.

Fenceviewer Quotes Yarborough about Blueberry Harvest

August 30th, 2013 9:09 AM

Fenceviewer, the community news and information website for Hancock County, Maine, quoted David Yarborough, a wild blueberry specialist and horticulture professor at the University of Maine, in an article on this year’s blueberry harvest. Yarborough said the crop is looking “above average” and “the recent showers and the cooler, drier air have provided for excellent crop quality.”

Yarborough Talks to BDN about Bountiful Blueberry Harvest

August 26th, 2013 10:58 AM

David Yarborough, a wild blueberry specialist and horticulture professor at the University of Maine, spoke with the Bangor Daily News for the article “Blueberry harvest looking bountiful.” Yarborough said berry size and yields are “average or above” but warned about the increased presence of the spotted wing drosophila, a fruit fly that attacks blueberries.

Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) August 26, 2013

August 26th, 2013 10:51 AM

SWD trap captures continue to build throughout the state.  At the University of Maine Blueberry Hill Farm, we are now catching 10-30 flies/trap.  Traps in other areas downeast are now capturing 30+ flies/trap.  These SWD continue to be mostly females; however, males appear to be making up a larger percentage than in previous weeks.  The increasing trap captures is evidence of fly reproduction and subsequent fruit attack. The proportion of fruit that have SWD larvae still appears to be very low; we have not yet detected any in fruit samples.  

Please continue to monitor and protect your fruit if necessary from this pest. Also, it looks as if the early harvesting that has been taking place all over the state will certainly pay dividends this year if we can get much of the crop in before significant damage starts to be detected.   Just remember that based upon last year’s monitoring, this pest can explode in numbers very quickly from just a few flies to hundreds / trap…so do not relax too much!   This is especially true as we get close to September. Last year SWD trap captures by September were averaging 40-50 flies/trap! 

NOTE:  Please refer any questions, comments or concerns to Frank Drummond, 1-800-897-0757 (Maine only) or 581-2989, frank.drummond@umit.maine.edu or to Dave Yarborough, 1-800-897-0757 or 581-2923, davidy@maine.edu.

SWD updates will only be sent out and posted on our blog when we have trap captures.

Yarborough, Drummond, McCarty Quoted in Press Herald Blog about Blueberry Harvest

August 22nd, 2013 1:49 PM

The latest post on the Portland Press Herald blog “The Root: Dispatches from Maine’s food sources” included quotes from three University of Maine Cooperative Extension educators about the state’s blueberry harvest. David Yarborough, a wild blueberry specialist, spoke about the efficiency of the Bragg Blueberry Harvester; Frank Drummond, an entomologist, spoke about the spotted wing drosophila and its negative effects on the crop; and Kate McCarty, food preservation community education assistant, shared a recipe for Honeyed Blueberry Vanilla Jam.