Wild Blueberry Events (online and in-person)

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Hello everyone,

As the season continues to advance, I would encourage you to check our event page in the wild blueberry blog. Under the page, you will find events I summarize from Perennia, WBPANS and other institutes that are related to wild blueberry growers.

Just a note, you won’t receive an email notification when I update the event page so please check back for any updates.

Event page: http://www.novascotiawildblueberryblog.com/p/events.html.

We have a couple of events coming up in the next three weeks and one in July.


1.    1. Perennia- Weather Station Apps and Website Training Session (online), May 24, 7-8:30pm

Event details and registration: https://www.perennia.ca/eventer/weather-station-apps-and-website-training-session/edate/2022-05-24/.

 

2.    2. WBPANS- 2022 twilight meetings (2 sessions)- in-person

a.      Session 1: May 31, 6-8pm. 168 Dakota Rd, Debert, NS.

Demonstration of UAV, prescription map and modified sprayer system from the CWBIRDI PAN-Atlantic project. Dr. Percival and his team will demonstrate the work of the UAV system, the creation of in-field prescription maps and how the modified sprayer can use these maps to apply pesticides precisely on a wild blueberry field. Growers will see how these systems work and have the opportunity to ask questions on how they could be used.

 

b.      Session 2: June 7, 6-8pm. Location TBD

Demonstration and discussion of weather station use in wild blueberry fields.

More details to share once WBPANS releases the information.

 

3.   3. WBPANS- 2022 Field Day: Tue, July 19

 WBPANS will host the 2022 Field Day on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, at John Cameron's receiving shed in East River Saint Marys, NS (648 Sherbrooke Road).

The Field Day will return to an in-person format for 2022 with equipment & agri-business displays and field tours.

Stay tuned for more details!

8th Blight Update and Seasonal Outlook for Nova Scotia- May 18, 2022 (Frost Advisories!)

 This update includes frost advisory and blueberry frost risks, monilinia infection period, and recommendations on field activities.

 

Frost Advisory and Blueberry Frost Risks

 

Frost Advisories are issued in Annapolis, Colchester (Cobequid Bay, Truro and South, North), Cumberland (Minas Shore, North and Cobequid Pass), Digby, Hants and Kings. https://weather.gc.ca/warnings/index_e.html?prov=ns.

 

Please check the link above for areas in the province affected by frost this evening.

 

As we are starting to see open flowers and bee hives ready to go out, concerns raised about spring frost injury.

 

Frost injury is a combination of low temperatures, freeze duration and plant growth stage.

As blueberry plants advance into the bloom stage, they are less tolerant to cold than when they are in the bud stages. Please check the figure below for general blueberry stages and each stage’s minimum cold tolerance temperature. When blueberry plants have fully open flowers, any temperature below -2.2c for a couple of hours could damage those flowers.

 

Figure 1. Blueberry Frost Risks

 

 

Monilinia Infection Period

 

We had an infection period for the last two days through most areas in the provinces. Besides late fields and the Cape Breton area, most fields are quickly approaching the end of the blight infection season. Flowers are starting to open and some growers are starting to put bees out this weekend.

In Cape Breton, just by talking to growers in the area, it is at the 40% F2 stage so closely monitoring weather conditions in those areas is important for growers managing fields in Cape Breton. Fields that have just reached the 40% F2 stage would be susceptible to infection.

                       Figure 2. Wild blueberry susceptible stages to monilinia blight infection

We had a small infection period (the first one for the season for most areas) starting May 4 evening to May 5 morning, but at this time, I haven’t seen any symptoms of infection. I will report if I start to see symptoms.

 

Recommendations on Field Activities

 

Pollination:

For the last two weeks, we observed fast plant development and flowers are starting to open. In some fields and areas, it is ready for pollination. I already heard from a couple of growers who already placed their hives in fields and some are considering putting them out this weekend. Please start your communication with your beekeepers and make sure you talk to them if you decide to spray any products when bees are in the fields.

 

 

Botrytis blight:

If you are in areas where typically more prone to botrytis infection, such as coastal areas, wet/fog areas and if your fields are weedy (sheep sorrel is an important host) with very dense patches, you should consider and monitor the situation for treatment application. The fungus begins to sporulate at early bloom, so the best time to apply (if needed!) the first application is when about 30-40% of the flowers are open. Closed flowers are resistant to infection. A second spray can be applied about 7-10 days later.

7th Blight Update and Seasonal Outlook for Nova Scotia- May 13, 2022

Friday, May 13, 2022

In this update, I like to mention a couple of things: GDD and Crop Development Update, Insect Monitoring Traps and Monilinia Blight Infection Update.

I know many growers are busy with spraying today and Saturday to get ahead of the rain events. Good luck and have a great weekend!

GDD and Crop Development Update

GDD accumulation from all stations has now exceeded 200 GDD (Figure 1. GDD summary, May 12). 

                                                            Figure 1. GDD Summary, May 12

 Plant emergence in sprout fields already started in many areas as we are getting close to the important thresholds of plant emergence based on the wild blueberry GDD model (270 GDD- plant emergence start; 290 GDD- 10% plant emergence). Again, if you haven’t applied your spring herbicides (spartan, chikara, ignite and velpar), you should do it as soon as possible. But, at this point, for many fields in the central area, it is too late to apply chikara and ignite. Please check your fields if you are still going to apply those herbicides. Damage will occur when those herbicides are in contact with blueberry plants!

The next threshold we will be watching is 390 GDD (stems with open flowers start). Early flower stage (pre-bloom) and leaf shoot expansion were observed in many fields I visited (Figures 2&3).


Figure 2&3

  

Insect Monitoring Traps

 

Some of you might start thinking about getting insect monitoring traps early due to supply chain delays. WBPANS carries traps in the office, so please give them a call and check if you can get the things you need (902-662-3284; info@nswildblueberries.com).

Great Lakes IMP (https://www.greatlakesipm.com/) also has great selections of monitoring tools.

 

Monilinia Blight Infection Update

Most areas in mainland NS are now well above the 40% F2 stage. For the Cape Breton area, I got a message this morning and it is getting close to the 40% F2 point. Growers in those late areas should check closely at their fields.

On sites I visit weekly, they were all above 80% F2 now. With the warm and dry weather we had last and this week, this might help to dry those mature cups but we are still in the susceptible infection period (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Wild blueberry susceptible stages to monilinia blight infection

 

The current forecast is calling for a long-wet period from May 15 to May 17 (Table 1). When I talked to many growers, most guys are planning Friday and Saturday to get their first or second applications on before this potential infection period.

Table 1. Weather Forecast for Potential Wetness and Monilinia Infection Periods

Weather Station and Location

Potential Wetness and Monilinia Infection Periods

*ONLY when your field is at or above 40%!!!

*Predict period: May 13-19; reported date: May 13

Colchester

 

Glenholme (NSW001)

May 15-17

Murray Siding (NSW002)

May 15-17

Upper Kemptown (NSW022)

May 14-15

Kavanaugh Mills (NSW023)

May 15-18

Debert (NSW036)

May 15-17

Belmont (NSW037)

May 15-17

Staples Brook (NSW038)

May 15-17

 

 

Cumberland

 

Wyvern (NSW003)

May 15-17

Oxford (NSW005)

May 16-17

Halfway River (NSW039)

May 14-17

 

 

Pictou

 

Blue Mountain (NSW017)

May 15-17

Sunny Brae (NSW018)

May 15-17

New Gairloch (NSW019)

May 15-17

Keble (NSW020)

May 15-18

Four Mile Brook (NSW021)

May 15-17

College Grant (NSW040)

May 15-16

 

 

*Weather source: weather stations in wild blueberry fields (http://www.novascotiawildblueberryblog.com/p/weather.html)

 

Sprout Field Plant Emergence and Growing Degree Days (GDD)

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

 As I mentioned in the last update, we observed plant emergence in Yarmouth County and I want to share this again to remind growers who plan to apply herbicides in sprout fields.

GDD accumulation at many stations has now exceeded 200 GDD (check Figure 1). An additional 70 GDD is expected to accumulate by Sunday based on current weather forecasts from Environment Canada. From the blueberry GDD model, we can expect plant emergence starting around 270 GDD. Blueberry emergence from cut stems (Figure 2) has already begun and sporadic emergence from rhizomes is also being observed. Growers planning to apply herbicides that may damage emerged blueberry stems, such as Spartan, Ignite, Velpar, or Chikara, should apply these herbicides as soon as possible if they have not already done so.



Figure 2. Blueberry emergence from cut stems (photo credit: Scott White)


6th Blight Update and Seasonal Outlook for Nova Scotia- May 10, 2022

Tuesday, May 10, 2022


Sprout Field Development Update

I got a report from Yarmouth county and we start to see plants push through the ground in those areas. I compared local accumulation GDD in this area (GDD- 260 on May 10) which is close to the predicted plant emergence start GDD requirement (GDD- 270). Some variation is expected. I expect other early developing areas in the central area would start to see plant emergence later this week.


 (Photo Credit: Peter Van Dyk)

 

Wild Blueberry Floral Bud F2 Stage and Monilinia Infection Periods 

I don’t have many new numbers to share (Table 1) as most areas I was able to get to in the last few weeks were above the 40-50% F2 stage, and I didn’t get a chance to visit Pictou, Antigonish and Guysborough counties.

I spoke with growers from those late areas and we are looking at an average of 20-30% F2, but with the warm temperatures this week, I expect those late areas will get to 40% soon.

For all fields with 40% or more F2 stage, it looks like there could be a long infection period, starting Sunday, May 15, till next Tuesday, May 17 (Table 2). That forecast information is from weather stations we have in wild blueberry fields. According to the weather network, next week could be a wet week as well. Please keep monitoring your field and local weather, and be prepared for the upcoming infection period. Your first monilinia application usually is good for 7-10 days and the second application is recommended if any wetness period is coming after this first 7-10 days protection window.


Please see the below summary table of the percentage of wild blueberry floral bud at the F2 stage. You can also click on this map to check those numbers. Detailed information is also available under the Wild Blueberry Blog- GDD& Phenology Tracker.

Table 1. Percentage of Wild Blueberry Floral Bud F2 stage

*light green (0-20% F2)dark green (20-30% F2)yellow (30-40% F2) and red (40-100% F2)

*Once the areas and fields get to 40% F2 or above, I will stop updating numbers as I can focus on other areas. Once you are at or above 40%, please monitor your local weather and make a management decision.

 

Wild blueberry production regions, NS

The average percentage of floral buds at F2

 

 

Cape Breton

 

 

 

Cumberland County

 

Oxford (early field)

May 9- 65%

Mapleton (Lynn Mt.)

May 9- 61%

Halfway River

April 26- 40%

Lower Greenville

April 25- 15%

Westchester Station

April 25- 17%

Fenwick

May 2- 40%

Springhill

May 3- 41.2%

Diligent River flat

May 5- 10-15%

Wentworth

May 2- 40%

New Canaan

May 5- 40%

Millvale

May 3- 34.7%

Windham Hill

May 3- 13.8%

Prospect and Newville Rd. area

May 5- 30-35%

York Settlement/ Glasgow Mt.

May 5- 30-35%

Fox Point

May 5- 20%

 

 

South West Nova Scotia

 

Queens County

April 23- 42%

Digby County

April 29- 50%

Annapolis County

April 29- 50%

 

 

Hants County

 

 

 

Halifax County

 

 

 

Guysborough County

 

 

 

Colchester County

 

Murray Siding

May 9- 85%

Belmont

May 9- 51%

Glenholme

May 9- 57%

Debert (WBPANS office)

May 2- 44%

Debert (Debert Airport)

May 2- 45%

Debert (near the railway track)

May 2- 40%

Baseline Rd.

May 2- above 40%

Greenfield

May 6- 50%

Economy

May 2- 40%

Portapique

May 2- 40%

Highland Village

May 2- 27%

Great Village

May 2- 27%

Tatamagouche Mt.

May 2- 17%

Earltown

May 9- 20%

 

 

Pictou and Antigonish County

 

New France

May 9- 10%

Maryvale

April 27- 5%

Mt Thom

April 27- 12%

Kemptown

April 27- 15%

Sunny Brae

April 28- 5%

*Thanks to everyone who contributed information and a special thank you to staff from the Bragg group (Roy Hunter and Richard Langille) who share information with me weekly.

 

Table 2. Weather Forecast for Potential Wetness and Monilinia Infection Periods

Weather Station and Location

Potential Wetness and Monilinia Infection Periods

*ONLY when your field is at or above 40%!!!

*Predict period: May 11-17; reported date: May 10

Colchester

 

Glenholme (NSW001)

May 15-17

Murray Siding (NSW002)

May 15-17

Upper Kemptown (NSW022)

May 12-17

Kavanaugh Mills (NSW023)

May 15-17

Debert (NSW036)

May 15-17

Belmont (NSW037)

May 15-17

Staples Brook (NSW038)

May 15-17

 

 

Cumberland

 

Wyvern (NSW003)

May 15-17

Oxford (NSW005)

May 15-17

Halfway River (NSW039)

May 15-17

 

 

Pictou

 

Blue Mountain (NSW017)

May 14-17

Sunny Brae (NSW018)

May 14-17

New Gairloch (NSW019)

May 14-17

Keble (NSW020)

May 15-17

Four Mile Brook (NSW021)

May 14-17

College Grant (NSW040)

May 15-17

 

 

*Weather source: weather stations in wild blueberry fields (http://www.novascotiawildblueberryblog.com/p/weather.html)