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2010 Newsletters - Wild Blueberry Newsletter – December 2010

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wild blueberry newsletter headerDecember 2010

Reconsider the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Farmers Program

I have talked to some growers and there seems to be a reluctance to sign up for this program. Program benefits include cash payments of up to $4,000 but it requires that you attend 12 hours of free technical training designed to help you develop best management practices and implement an initial  business plan.  The educational programs will be presented at three locations in State and will also be available to be taken on the TAA for farmers’ website.  A grower may designate a spouse, sibling or an adult child, who is member of the farm business, to attend the session for them or they may both signup and attend and double their cash benefit if both complete the sessions.  I have received blanket approval for the eligibility of all wild blueberry growers in Maine, using USDA information showing a decline in price and an increase in imports, so you do not have to provide this information you only need to prove that you are a grower.  The initial business plan is a two-page document with six questions that will be filled out at the last educational session (see TAA Business Plan form included with this newsletter).

This will also qualify you for the long term business plan with a cash payment of up to $12,000, but requires working with a business consultant – this  will not be administered by Cooperative Extension.  Both lobsters and shrimp have also qualified for this program, so the cash benefit could be reduced if there is a large signup, but this will not be determined until after the signup ends on 12/29/2010.

I urge you to contact your local FSA office before the 12/29/2010 deadline, as you can decide later if you do not want to participate in the program, but if you do not signup by the above date you will lose the opportunity to participate in this program.

You can find the location of your local county FSA office at Http:// or you can call the state office at 990-9100 x 2 to get the number for your county office.


Asulox Approved for Bracken Fern Control in Wild Blueberries

The Maine Board of Pesticides Control approved a special local needs label (24C) for the use of Asulox to control bracken fern in Maine wild blueberries for the next four years at their last board meeting on November 5th.   The label reads:  Bracken should be in full frond prior to application. Use Asulox only as a spot treatment at 1 gallon/acre rate.  The use of a nonionic surfactant at 0.25% v/v may improve uptake of the Asulox.  Treatment is limited to nonbearing fields. Do not apply more than once every other year. Control will be observed the year following application of the Asulox.  No visible control symptoms will be observed the year of application.    Using Asulox gives wild blueberry growers a selective and highly effective means of controlling bracken fern in wild blueberry fields.

The label is posted on the web its use will be discussed at upcoming wild blueberry meetings that will be posted on our calendar of events page


Agricultural Trade Show

There will be a Pesticide Applicator Recertification session on Thursday, January 13, 2011 in the Kennebec/Penobscot Room at the Civic Center in Augusta, Maine.  The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Board of Pesticides Control will present three one-hour training sessions. Licensed pesticide applicators and dealers may attend sessions to earn credits towards recertification. One credit will be allowed for attendance for each hour. The schedule is as follows:

9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Regulation Update,  Gary Fish, BPC
10:45 – 11:45 a.m. Colony Collapse Disorder – an update, Frank Drummond, UMaine
12:30– 1:30 p.m. Blueberry Pest Management,  David Yarborough, UMCE and Frank Drummond, UMaine

To see all the events providing pesticide credits at the trade show visit:


Wild about Health Blog

WBANA’s blog…Wild about …is an important component of the internet marketing and social media strategy.  Updated two to three times per week, Wild About Health covers a range of topics related to health and wellness. Current postings include Top Soup Secrets: 5 Reasons to Pickup a Spoon and Start Slurping and Fall Colors Offer a Phytochemical Feast. Blog postings are publicized on the Wild Blueberry Facebook and Twitter pages, providing Wild Blueberry fans and followers fresh content every week.  Additionally, ads have been taken out on Facebook to draw new visitors to the blog.  The website, blog and social media pages are all designed to work in concert to make a dynamic online presence for WBANA.  WBANA’s Facebook and Twitter fan base continues to grow and interaction among followers has increased.

WBANA International Promotion

Agencies responsible for marketing wild blueberries in the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Canada and the USA met to review current marketing programs and discuss future collaboration and coordination at the October Wild Blueberry industry meeting in Quebec City. While agency responsibilities may differ depending on the market, all agencies are very active and engaged in communicating the Wild Blueberry story.  Of note, the UK has an emerging consumer market for frozen wild blueberries and will tailor future efforts to build the retail, supermarket business.  The new “Wild Blueberries – Premium by Nature” brand mark will be used internationally and agencies have collaborated on the development of a photo library for sharing images among the group.  Efforts will be made moving forward to have links to each country’s website as well to create a network of web communication.



David E. Yarborough
Extension Blueberry Specialist

Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.


Published and distributed in furtherance of Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914, by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, the Land Grant University of the state of Maine and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Cooperative Extension and other agencies of the U.S.D.A. provide equal opportunities in programs and employment.

Call 800-287-0274 or TDD 800-287-8957 (in Maine), or 207-581-3188, for information on publications and program offerings from University of Maine Cooperative Extension, or visit

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