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2010 Newsletters - Wild Blueberry Newsletter – May 2010

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wild blueberry newsletter headerMay 2010

Mummy berry Blight Scouting

This has been an early spring and there have been numerous infection periods for mummy berry disease. Information on the progress of the disease and treatment timings may be found on our “Blog” located at  Putting out mummy berries in your field will allow you to more accurately monitor this disease and reduce the number of fungicide sprays needed. This method is illustrated in a PDF on the wild blueberry website that details the Mummyberry Forecasting Method. Once bloom occurs, you will need to scout your fields looking for blighted stems and blossoms to get an indication of how well your treatments worked and to assess the potential for disease pressure in the next crop.  Seanna Annis is looking for cooperators to monitor mummy berries next year.  If you are interested in becoming a mummy berry cooperator, please email Seanna at or call 1-800-897-0757 x 3.

Valdensinia Scouting

Valdensinia leaf spot (caused by Valdensinia heterodoxa) causes early leaf drop in wild blueberries in both prune and crop fields.  It can cause complete leaf drop so that no flower buds are produced by infected stems. This disease was first reported in Maine in 2009 and has the potential to cause significant crop loss if allowed to spread. See fact sheet and sanitation protocol posted on the wild blueberry web site for more details:  Valdensinia (PDF) and Valdnesinia Sanitation Protocol (PDF).

Because there is no fungicide that adequately controls this disease, it important to find and eradicate this infection by burning the infected areas in your field as soon as possible.  If you think you have this disease contact me at or Seanna at or call us at 1-800-897-0757 to confirm that you haveValdensinia before you burn the area as it can be confused with the Septoria disease, which is widespread in most blueberry fields.

WBANA Update

Public Service Announcement: The Wild Blueberry Association has partnered with the Produce for Better Health Foundation on the development of radio public service announcements.  The package of spots (:60, :30, and :15) will be recorded and distributed to 1,000 radio stations nationwide.  Produce for Better Health Foundation’s Fruits & Veggies—More Matters health initiative promotes consumption of all forms of fruits and vegetables …fresh, canned, dried, 100% juice and frozen. WBANA is a PBH member and has sought their cooperation in working collaboratively on this project to help raise awareness for the benefits of frozen fruit.  The creative concept of “breaking the frozen barrier” will use Wild Blueberries as the example of an easy to use, affordable and just as nutritious as fresh choice for consumers looking for more nutrition in their diet.  Spots should begin airing in May.

New York Times Partnership: A partnership that includes on-line, print and public relations was developed with the New York Times in support of the retail frozen fruit initiative.

The on-line promotion is running currently on featuring an animated ad for frozen Wild Blueberries drawing the viewer into the supermarket frozen fruit case to learn about the recent Health Magazine superfood listing.  Ad units are also running that don’t include animation but have an immediate link to a special landing page on about the retail frozen fruit story and the Health Magazine story. Additionally, within the duration of the campaign, ad units will appear in four Health Update emails that reach 134,000 subscribers each time. The campaign is expected to deliver nearly 3 million impressions.

A new, full-page print ad ran in the special New York Times Sunday magazine Health and Wellness issue on April 18th.  This issue was well aligned with WBANA’s strategy to promote Wild Blueberries as a premium, antioxidant-rich superfood.  With the title “Mother Nature put Wild Blueberries on Earth to be Frozen”, the ad depicted Mother Nature working her magic to bring Wild Blueberries to the frozen fruit case.  The New York Times magazineis a national, general interest magazine reaching influencers and opinion leaders.  It has a readership of 4.2 million.

The final component of the partnership included sponsorship of the recent TimesTalk – a special event in New York City with a high-profile speakers list including Dr. Mehmet Oz.  Nutrition Advisor Susan Davis, MS RD attended the event representing the industry at the Wild Blueberry booth and in networking opportunities.  Direct follow-up with Dr. Oz is underway as a result of our participation in this event.



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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