Highbush Blueberry E-Bulletin 2011-1

Friday, April 15, 2011

Highbush Blueberry E-Bulletin – April 15, 2011

Winter injury

I’ve been out and about cutting buds and I am happy to report that there appears to be very little winter injury in highbush blueberries this spring. The Kentville Research Station reported a winter minimum temperature of only -18.8 °C so this is not surprising. Let’s hope our good fortune continues in 2011 and we have a great crop with excellent quality and prices!

Pruning

It’s probably a little late to be giving pruning reminders but for those of you that haven’t completed your pruning a good reminder can be found at AgraPoint’s website
Just click on the factsheet title “Pruning Principles for Grapes and Highbush blueberry”.

Mummy berry forecast

Due to a serious problem with mummy berry in 2009, I delivered a “forecast” in 2010 to help growers improve their management of this disease. It was helpful to several growers and I have been asked to deliver the forecast again this year. Tim Strong is my co-operator on this project and recommendations will be based on weather data collected on his farm on Brooklyn Street here in Kings County. It should be fairly accurate for other growers in Kings County but will be a guide only for growers west, south, and east of his location. To review the disease, its symptoms, and life cycle, please examine the factsheet at AgraPoint’s website titled “Mummy Berry Disease in Highbush Blueberry”.

The important thing to remember about the disease is that you need three things for infection to occur – inoculum, susceptible bud development stage, and suitable weather conditions. At this time we do not have inoculum or susceptible bud development stage so there is no need to spray for the disease.

Highbush Blueberry Blog

I thought I would get with the times and try something new this year. Blogging appealed to me because it is not supposed to be time consuming but at the same time it is a timely way to get information to clients. With this goal in mind I’m going to try to get “timely” information to you guys as we go through the season. I will also convey anything useful I see or hear during my farm calls through the growing season (while maintaining grower confidentiality when appropriate). I hope it is useful and please give me your feedback on this new method of extension. My blog can be found at http://www.novascotiahighbushblueberryblog.com/

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