Research Programs

mummy berry

Lowbush blueberry diseases and their management

The lowbush blueberry industry in Maine has a significant share of the blueberry market. Over the last decade the industry has come under pressure to decrease inputs, such as fungicides, that may affect the environment. Yet at the same time, the number of fungal diseases affecting the crop has increased. Development of effective integrated pest […]

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Weed and disease management strategies for Maine wild blueberries

Maine has 575 wild blueberry growers who produce an average of 80 million pounds per year. Maine produces 15 percent of the North American blueberry crop and 40 percent of the wild blueberry crop. Because weed and disease issues continue to evolve research is needed to develop the tools our wild blueberry growers need to […]

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Biological control of arthropod pests and weeds

Invasive plants and animals currently make up more than 30% of Maine’s flora and an unknown, but increasingly growing percentage of Maine’s fauna. While these species are most apparent along roadsides and in many natural areas, they also are abundant in agricultural fields. Two such species have recently found their way into the Maine blueberry […]

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Beneficial and invasive pest insects in the wild blueberry agroecosystem

The spotted wing drosophila (SWD) has created an emergency approach to insect pest control that is reactive and not necessarily a least-toxic strategy. This research should result in a better monitoring procedure for the adult flies, an action threshold, and better knowledge of SWD trivial movement within and between blueberry fields and least toxic strategies […]

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honey bee on blueberry flowers

Sustainable solutions to problems affecting bee health

Pollination is critical to one of Maine’s most important crops, wild blueberry. Almost 80,000 honey bee colonies are brought into Maine each year for pollination. In addition to honey bees, native bees are extremely important to pollination of wild blueberry. Almost 30% of wild blueberry flowers are pollinated by native bees. Because of the importance […]

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