Mummy berry cups have started

April 27th, 2014 9:23 PM

Lowbush Blueberry flower bud stages: F0 - buds covered by scales; F1 - scales starting to open, green shows; F2 - Crown Stage.Bud scales separated. Tips of buds form a crown shape. After this stage, flower and leaf buds are susceptible. Buds at F0 and F1 are not susceptible.Knox, Lincoln, Waldo counties

Mummy berry cups have been found by growers in their fields in West Rockport and Liberty.  Numerous cups and pinheads were seen in plots this weekend by these growers.    The growers also report the plants in their fields were not open enough to be susceptible with the rain this weekend.  

Plants will have enough susceptible tissue to become infected when more than 40% of their flower buds are at the F2 stage of development (the crown stage).  Before this point in development the plant tissue is protected by the bud scales from fungal infection.  Fungicides will also not be able to penetrate the bud scales very well.    To check your plants, look at a random sample of at least 20 stems across your field (from different clones) and count the number the stems with F2 buds. 

If you have a mummy berry plot, I would like to hear from you when you see cups starting to appear and when they end. 

If you have any questions please contact Seanna Annis. Telephone: 1- 800-897-0757 (Maine only) or  207-581-2621, Email:


Mummy Berry Season is getting close

April 20th, 2014 2:21 PM

With the warmer weather, flower buds are just starting to open up in the south and the mummy berry season is approaching.  If you have a mummy berry patch in Knox, Lincoln or Waldo counties, now is the time to start monitoring it.

Monitor your plants by checking the flower buds.  Once you have 40% or over of your flower buds at the F2 stage (crown stage) then you have enough plant tissue that an infection of the mummy berry fungus could be harmful.

I am looking for helpful growers to tell me how their plants are progressing and if they have a mummy berry patch, how that is doing as well.   If you do check your plants or mummy berry patch, please give me a call  or send me an email on how they are progressing. 

We have weather stations up in Dresden Mills, West Rockport, Appleton, and Belfast so far.  We hope to have the rest in place in the next two weeks.

If you wish to be receive these posts via email and are not currently doing so, please send your address to me at

Seanna Annis, 1- 800-897-0757 (Maine only) or  207-581-2621. 

2014 Maine Pollination Workshops

April 11th, 2014 12:39 PM

2014 Maine Pollination Workshops

During the spring and summer of 2014, researchers from the University of Maine are hosting a series of free pollination workshops for fruit and vegetable growers. These workshops are supported by a grant from the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. The workshops will provide instruction on assessing bees’ impact on fruit set and identifying wild bees. They will also include information on strategies to improve habitat for wild bees. For more information, contact Kourtney Collum at In case of inclement weather, visit the following website for more information: No preregistration is required for these workshops.


Pollination Workshop for Apple Growers

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM – NEW DATE!
Rain date:  Thursday, May 22, 2014 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Highmoor Farm, UMaine Experiment Station, 52 U.S. Route 202, Monmouth, Maine 04259

This workshop is designed specifically for apple growers.


Pollination Workshop for Lowbush Blueberry Growers

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Rain date:  Tuesday, June 3, 2014 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Seven Tree Farm, Route 235, 2740 Western Road, Warren, Maine 04864

This workshop is designed specifically for lowbush blueberry growers.


Pollination Workshop II for Lowbush Blueberry Growers

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Rain date:  Wednesday, June 4, 2014 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Blueberry Hill Farm, UMaine Experiment Station, 1643 Route 1, Jonesboro, Maine 04648

This workshop is designed specifically for lowbush blueberry growers.


Pollination Workshop for Squash and Pumpkin Growers

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM - NEW DATE!
Highmoor Farm, UMaine Experiment Station, 52 U.S. Route 202, Monmouth, Maine 04259

This workshop is designed specifically for squash and pumpkin growers.

BDN Advances Cooperative Extension Blueberry Growers Meetings

February 25th, 2014 3:26 PM

Spring meetings and training offered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension were mentioned in the Bangor Daily News article “Maine wild blueberry industry may benefit from farm bill pilot program.” Blueberry growers will gather in March, 2014 for meetings planned by the UMaine Cooperative Extension in Waldoboro, Ellsworth and Machias. The meetings will include briefings on pollination, weeds, fertilizers, regulations, diseases and pests. The article also stated the Cooperative Extension and Maine Board of Pesticides Control will conduct training in Machias to prepare growers for the private pesticide applicator core exam and the blueberry commodity exam. Both exams will be administered after the training sessions.

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,

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 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.


NOTE:  Please refer any questions, comments or concerns to Frank Drummond, 1.800.897.0757 (Maine only) or 207.581.2989, or to Dave Yarborough, 1.800.897.0757 or 207.581.2923,

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