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2011 Newsletters - Wild Blueberry Newsletter – January 2011

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wild blueberry newsletter headerJanuary 2011

Maine Wild Blueberry Crop 2010

Maine’s 2010 wild blueberry crop, as reported by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, totaled 83.0 million pounds of which 500,000 pounds were fresh.  This is less than last year’s 88.5 million pounds but still well above the five year average of 77 million pounds.

The blueberry plants in Maine came through the winter well with little or no winter injury. We did have an early spring, initially plant growth was three weeks earlier than average, consequently, we had a very early bloom and three nights of frost the second week of May.  Fields that were either low-lying or further away from the coast experienced up to 75% crop loss, but many fields Downeast were in early bloom so did not receive as much damage. Pollination weather was excellent with some days at the end of May reaching nearly 80 degrees, so set was very good in fields which invested in pollinators. We did have a number of infection periods for mummy berry disease but for those that monitored their fields and applied a fungicide to prevent infection there was minimal damage, but those that did not experienced extensive damage. We did have isolated outbreaks of spanworm or flea beetle but if treated in a timely manner caused minimal damage. We had less than adequate rain in April, May, and August but adequate precipitation in June and July. Temperatures were well above average for the summer. The high temperatures put the plants under stress and more herbicide injury was observed this year than in years past. We had an early harvest, with most fields beginning at least one week early.

The Maine Wild Blueberries NAAS report may be found under Maine Wild Blueberries at http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/New_England_includes/Publications/Special_Reports/wbrel2011.pdf

North American Blueberry Crop 2010

North American Blueberry Crop 2010

Wild Blueberry Crop 2010

2010 Wild Blueberry Crop

Canadian Wild Blueberry Crop

The wild blueberry crop in Canada was only 94.5 million pounds, which is considerably less than last year’s crop of 137 million pounds and well below the five-year average of 122 million pounds. Quebec’s crop was a disappointing 15 million pounds, a crop failure because of a combination of both devastating frosts and drought. The average crop in Quebec is usually over 60 million pounds and has exceeded 70 million pounds in the last two years.   The weather in Nova Scotia included some frost and was wet and cool during pollination which reduced fruit set and was also dry in July and August, but their crop was still slightly above average at 33.2 million pounds compared to its five-year average of 30.8 million pounds. The northeastern part of New Brunswick had good growing conditions so the crop at 33.5 million pounds has exceeded their five-year average of 27 million pounds. The lack of winter kill, good pollination weather, and an adequate supply of bees and ample summer rainfall all contributed to the bumper crop of 12.4 million pounds in Prince Edward Island, which exceeded their five-year average of 9 million pounds. This crop increase is also attributed to the growing number of acres coming into production which is expected to continue to increase the average crop in future years.

Cultivated Blueberries

Total reported cultivated production in the United States reported by the USDA was 222.45 million pounds fresh and 138.85 million pounds processed for a total crop of 414,710 million pounds. In addition, British Columbia, Canada had a bumper cultivated crop of 90 million pounds, 56 million fresh and 34 million processed, reflecting the increase in the acreage.  Michigan/Indiana had 118.6 million pounds, which represents its largest crop and is just slightly more than the 113.8 million pounds harvested in 2008.  In New Jersey’s the crop was 49 million pounds, which was also slightly less than last year’s crop of 53 million pounds.  The crop on the Pacific Coast (CA, OR, WA) was reported at 120.8 million pounds, which exceeds last year’s crop of 107.5 million pounds, CA increased from 24 to 28 million pounds.  The Southern States (AL, AR, FL, GA, MS, NC) crop was 124 million pounds, which is considerably more than the 98.5 million pounds of 2009.  The total North American crop (wild and cultivated) is 682.2 million pounds, which is slightly above last year’s crop of 677.4 million pounds.  (Source of US crop data: NASS/USDA, Non-citrus Fruits and Nuts 2011 Preliminary Summary, January 2011, pages (36-37) http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/NoncFruiNu/NoncFruiNu-01-21-2011.pdf)

TAA Initial Orientation and Commodity Specific Sessions on Wild Blueberry Best Management Practices for Weeds, Fertility, Insects and Disease

We will not be holding our usual spring wild blueberry grower meetings but all licensed pesticide applicators may obtain a total of four pesticide credits by attending two of the evening sessions at each location or the one Saturday session.

Please be sure to allow enough time before each class to register and complete required TAA paperwork. Registration will be one hour before each training session.

Location Date Time Presenters
Hancock County Extension Office
63 Boggy Brook Road Ellsworth, ME 
Tuesday,  March 15 6:00-9:00 PM Dave Yarborough and Jack Smagula (1 credit)
Thursday, March 17 6:00-9:00 PM Frank Drummond and Seanna Annis (3 credits)
Knox-Lincoln County Extension Office
377 Manktown Road, Waldoboro, ME
Wednesday,  March 23 6:00-9:00 PM Dave Yarborough and Jack Smagula (1 credit)
Thursday,  March 24 6:00-9:00 PM Frank Drummond and Seanna Annis (3 credits)
University of Maine at Machias,  Performing Arts Center
O’Brien Avenue
Machias, ME
Saturday,  March 26 9:00-12:00 PM
and
1:00-4:00 PM
Dave Yarborough, Jack Smagula, Frank Drummond and Seanna Annis
(4 credits)

Sincerely,

Dave

David E. Yarborough
Extension Blueberry Specialist

www.wildblueberries.maine.edu

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.

©2011

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 extension.umaine.edu.


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