Florida Blueberry Growers Report Crop Loss Due to Gall Midge

Abbey Taylor Berries, Pests, Top Posts

Update: The FBGA sent another email on March 30 with some survey results. This is what it reported: "Approximately a third of the state’s acreage has responded to our survey, 95% of which are reporting damage at some level. Over two-thirds of the acreage are reporting more than 20% crop loss (many of which indicated…

Pest Issues for Florida Berry Growers

Abbey Taylor Berries, Research, Top Posts

By Jaci Schreckengost Many Florida strawberry and blueberry growers face similar challenges when managing mites and insects. Chilli thrips affect strawberries by feeding on the foliage and fruit of the crop. The pest affects blueberries by feeding on new growth in the spring and summer. Chilli thrips are relatively new to Florida growers, said Justin…

Blueberry Field Day Aims to Increase Grower Competitiveness

Abbey Taylor Berries, Research, Top Posts

New varieties were a hot topic at the Florida Blueberry Growers Association’s (FBGA) spring field day. The event was held on March 7 at the University of Florida (UF) Plant Science Research and Education Unit in Citra. Ryan Atwood, a blueberry grower and vice president of the FBGA, says new varieties from UF will make…

Growers’ Needs Steer Blueberry Breeding

Jaci Schreckengost Berries, Top Posts

Blueberry breeders continue to try to improve varieties as grower needs and markets change. Scott NeSmith, professor at the University of Georgia's Department of Horticulture, said there are three main challenges that are facing blueberry growers right now that breeders are working to solve. The first challenge is to avoid times where the crop could…

Multiple Methods for Fighting Spotted Wing Drosophila

Jaci Schreckengost Berries, Pests, Top Posts

Researchers are investigating new behavioral and cultural controls to help protect crops from spotted wing drosophila (SWD). SWD has been attacking many crops, such as small berries, and leaving growers with devastating losses, said Ashfaq Sial, assistant professor at the University of Georgia. This pest is such an issue for growers because there is a…

Battling Blueberry Diseases

Jaci Schreckengost Berries, Top Posts

Predictive systems and preventing new diseases in blueberries were topics Phil Brannen addressed at the 2018 Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference in Savannah, Ga., in January. Brannen is a professor and Extension plant pathologist at the University of Georgia. Predictive systems can benefit growers by letting them know when their disease risks are highest…