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2011 Newsletters - Wild Blueberry Newsletter – May 2011

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wild blueberry newsletter headerMay 2011

Integrated Crop Management Field Training Sessions

Field training sessions will be offered at three locations to demonstrate and discuss the Integrated Crop Management (ICM) field scouting techniques in Wild Blueberry Fact Sheet No. 204.  The May session will cover mummy berry and blossom blight identification and monitoring, insect sweeping and identification, and weed identification and management.  The June session will cover blueberry maggot fly trapping, leaf and soil sampling, and weed identification and management.  One recertification credit per session will be offered for certified pesticide applicators. NOTE CHANGE OF DATES FOR JUNE SESSIONS.

All Field Training sessions will be from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Field Day Locations Location
Knox/Lincoln Counties
Tuesday, May 24, and June 21
Charles and Dorothy Dolham’s on Rt. 235, 2740 Western Road, Warren
Washington County
Wednesday, May 25, and June 22
Blueberry Hill Farm, Route 1, Jonesboro
Hancock County
Thursday, May 26 and June 23
G. M. Allen’s Freezer on Route 15, Orland

New Weed ID Resource Available online

A new weed ID resource is available on the wild blueberry website in the fact sheet section www.wildblueberries.maine.edu. If you look under weeds and then blueberry weed images, you can access weeds by their name and then view thumbnail images that can be enlarged with a click.  The enlarged images allow a detailed view of the weed which greatly enhances your ability to make a more accurate identification.  I would like to thank Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Research Assistant, the University of Maine, who took and posted these images on the website.

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” site located at http://mainewildblueberries.blogspot.com/.  Putting out mummy berries in your field will allow you to more accurately monitor this disease in your own field and reduce the number of fungicide sprays needed. This method is illustrated in a PDF on the wild blueberry website that details the Mummy berry Disease Forecasting Method. Once bloom occurs, you scout your fields to look 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 interested in being a cooperator, email her at sannis@maine.edu or call 1-800-897-0757 x 3.

Valdensinia Scouting

Valdensinia leaf spot (caused by Valdensinia heterodoxa) causes early leaf drop in wild blueberries and in both prune and crop fields and 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 website for more details:

http://umaine.edu/blueberries/factsheets/disease/valdensinia-leaf-spot-on-wild-blueberries/
http://umaine.edu/blueberries/factsheets/disease/valdensinia-leaf-spot-disease/
http://umaine.edu/blueberries/factsheets/disease/sanitation-protocol-for-valdensinia-leaf-drop-disease/

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 davidy@maine.edu or Seanna at sannis@maine.edu or call us to confirm that you have Valdensinia at 1-800-897-0757 for before you burn the area as it can be confused with the Septoria disease which is widespread in most blueberry fields.

Fresh Trends Report Shows Increased Blueberry Purchase Based on Income and Age (from USHBC Bluespaper Newsletter)

For the fourth consecutive year the “Fresh Trends Report”, published by The Packer, notes that the likelihood of a blueberry purchase increased according to income and age. The 2011 report states that consumers earning more than $100,000 annually were the most likely group to buy blueberries with the Northeast continuing to be the area with the greatest likelihood of purchase. The report notes that consumers without children at home were more apt to buy blueberries than those with children in 2010. However, it was noted that blueberry purchases did increase according to the number of children in the household.

Married consumers were 28% more likely to buy blueberries than single consumers. Likelihood of purchase based on age shows that 53% of consumers 59 years of age or older were most likely to buy followed by those in the 50 to 58 year old bracket (48%). An average of 38% of consumers in the 23 to 39 and 40 to 49 year age brackets were likely to buy blueberries in 2010.

Overall, 47% of consumers surveyed in 2010 had purchased blueberries within the past twelve months with 75% purchasing conventional blueberries (compared to 84% the previous year), 6% purchasing organic (up from 2% in 2009), 14% purchasing both conventional and organic (up from 13% the prior year) and 5% not sure whether they purchased organic or conventional (compared to 2% the previous year).

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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