2024 Production Updates and Seasonal Outlook for NS_ 1st Blight Line Post_ April 11

Thursday, April 11, 2024

It might sound too early to worry about Monilinia Blight management in Nova Scotia wild blueberry fields, but the earliest fields were around 20% F2 in West Caledonia, Queens as of April 10. Based on the grower’s record, the producer might be looking about 6 days earlier to apply his first monilinia blight in the same field compared to 2022.

In some wild blueberry meetings over the last two weeks, I shared Nova Scotia’s winter weather information, March air, soil and precipitation updates, and spring forecasts. Based on that information, we are seeing more signs of warm spring and early plant development in Nova Scotia.


Growing Degree Days (GDD) Summary and 2024 Spring Plant Development Prediction

This year, we are going to report GDDs from 17 stations (see Figure 1) which cover the major wild blueberry production regions in NS. There are different ways to obtain GDDs by choosing the station you like. To learn how to obtain GDDs, please read this blog post: http://www.novascotiawildblueberryblog.com/2023/04/2023-wild-blueberry-pest-guide-new.html.


Figure 1. 17 Wild Blueberry Stations for GDD updates


Here is a summary of the most up-to-date GDD from 17 weather stations in wild blueberry fields.



Figure 1. GDD Summary, April 10, 2024



Wild Blueberry Floral Bud F2 Stage

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)

Wild blueberry production regions, NS

The average percentage of floral buds at F2



Cape Breton




Cumberland County




South West Nova Scotia


Queens County

18%- April 10

 Digby county

 8.6% - April 11

Annapolis County

 1.6%- April 11



Halifax County




Guysborough County




Colchester County




Pictou and Antigonish County





General Information about Monilinia Blight and Management


It is important to monitor plant development stages in your fields, especially if this disease has occurred in your fields previously. I encourage growers to go out to the fields and see how floral buds are developing.

When looking at fruit buds do not count obviously dead fruit buds. To do that, you can walk your fields in a “W” pattern and collect 20-30 stems randomly. From those collected stems, count the total number of floral buds and the number of buds at the F2 stage or beyond. You can simply dive the number of F2 buds by the total number and times 100. This would you the % of F2. Please don’t count obviously dead floral buds.

Figure 1. Wild Blueberry Floral Buds in F1 and F2 stages.


For monilinia to infect blueberry plants, there should have mummy berry spores, blueberry buds at a susceptible stage (F2 and above) and an infection period of long enough wet period and temperature. Only treat for Monilinia when blueberry buds are at least at 40% and before the next forecasted wet period.

For products to prevent monilinia infection, please refer to Perennia’s updated pest management guide for wild blueberry (2022): https://www.perennia.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Wild-Blueberry-Pest-Guide-2022_FINAL.pdf.

Other available resources:

1.     ATTTA pollinators guide: Protecting Pollinators from Pesticdes- Wild Blueberry.



Our Atlantic Tech Transfer Team is pleased to share their latest guide, Protecting Pollinators from Pesticides – Wild Blueberry! Available in both English and French, the focus of this guide is on minimizing the impacts of pesticides on pollinators in wild blueberry production. Check it out today!






3.     Perennia’s Online Pest Management Guide Tool


We are excited to introduce Perennia’s online pest management guide tool. With this new tool, you will be able to access relevant and up-to-date information about pesticide options in an easy-to-use way. This interactive tool is searchable and will help you save time and improve decision making when selecting pest management products. Organized in tables, these guides can be printed and can be accessed in a way that works best for you.

Please visit this link: https://www.perennia.ca/onlinepestmanagementguide/.


Now Available: New Pest Management Guide Tool

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Hi, everyone, please read the below blog post from Michelle Cortens, Tree Fruit Specialist, Perennia. 

This blog post is regarding the new Pest Management Guide Tool. Please read carefully and understand that the system might be slow initially, so please be patient. Please explore this online tool and share your experience and feedback for future improvement. 


Introducing Perennia's Online Pest Management Guide Tool 

We are excited to introduce Perennia’s online pest management guide tool. With this new tool, you will be able to access relevant and up-to-date information about pesticide options in an easy-to-use way. This interactive tool is searchable and will help you save time and improve decision making when selecting pest management products. Organized in tables, these guides can be printed and can be accessed in a way that works best for you.

Access the tool on our website where you will also find a tutorial video and how-to-use guide.

Tree fruit growers will benefit from new features, such as:
  • New columns specifying product re-entry intervals for hand thinning, maximum applications per season, and application interval
  • A new column called 'status' to report product registration changes
  • All conventional and organic products are listed by default so that biological products may be considered in conventional situations where appropriate
  • New ability to filter and search to quickly find answers to your questions
  • Feature to sort the table results based on categories of interest (REI, PHI, etc)
  • The cherry guides are now combined for sweet and sour cherries

BLUE FOCUS NEWSLETTER- Winter 2024 Edition

Wednesday, March 27, 2024


BLUE FOCUS NEWSLETTER- Winter 2024 Edition

(Perennia’s Wild Blueberry Production Newsletter)

Dear Growers,

Based on how we felt about the last few week’s weather and some data we collected from weather stations this time of the year, it is looking like we might have an early spring. According to some national weather forecasts, Nova Scotia has an 80-90% chance of above-normal spring temperatures from March to May. We are already seeing some factors that will contribute to early and fast plant development, such as warmer temperatures and adequate spring rainfall.

These are just some signs to tell the wild blueberry community, the 2024 wild blueberry season is here.

This winter edition newsletter will provide some updates on winter weather and the forecast, resources& management tool updates, and upcoming industry events.


Hugh Lyu

Wild Blueberry Specialist, Perennia

hlyu@perennia.ca; 902-890-0472.

March 27, 2024



Table of Contents: 

Nova Scotia Winter Updates and April Forecast

Wild Blueberry Resources and Management Tools

Upcoming Events




Nova Scotia Winter Updates and April Forecast

Air temperature trend in NS from Oct 1 to March 15:

This past fall, NS and other parts of Canada experienced some record-breaking fall temperatures in 2023. In Figure 1, those periods were the first two weeks of October and the beginning of December.

This past winter also mixed a few warm periods (+10 °C) in Nova Scotia. We also had some cold days when snow coverage was sufficient across the region.

An interesting thing to note is that after March, we had above-average warmer days every single day (Figure 1). This is a sign that we are going to see earlier plant emergencies and fast development if we continue to experience warmer temperatures this spring. According to the national forecast, we have an 80-90% chance to see above-normal temperatures in Nova Scotia this spring.


Soil temperature trend in NS from Oct to March 15:

Soil temperature changes as air temperature fluctuates. In Figure 2, some above-average soil temperature periods were also in the first two weeks of October and the beginning of December. Soils in Nova Scotia should be below 0 °C this past winter.

Similar to air temperatures in March, soil temperatures were also above average in the first two weeks of March. From the Wild Blueberry weather station data, we observed that soil temperatures in wild blueberry fields range from 1-5 °C. Again, this is another sign of fast and early plant development.

Figure 1. Air temperatures in Kentville Research Weather Station, Oct 1, 2023, to March 15, 2024

Figure 2. Soil  temperatures (5 cm) in Kentville Research Weather Station, Oct 1, 2023 to March 15, 2024

Figure 3. Forecast probability of temperature above, below, and near normal.


Wild Blueberry Resources and Management Tools


Here are some Perennia wild blueberry extension resources and management tools for growers.

1.      Perennia Wild Blueberry Blog: http://www.novascotiawildblueberryblog.com/.

Please subscribe to and continue to follow the blog for wild blueberry management. Some important information covered under the blog includes:

a.      Wild Blueberry Weather Station Network (including soil temperatures)

b.      GDD updates- 17 weather stations in the 2024 season (Figure 4)

c.      Monilini Blight monitoring

d.      Production newsletter

e.      Wild blueberry and Industry event calendar: http://www.novascotiawildblueberryblog.com/p/events.html.


Figure 4. 17 weather stations for GDD updates in the 2024 season


2.      Perennia Farm Data Tool: https://farmdatatools.ca/.

Under the Farm Weather Map, you would be able to select your weather station and get the weather data. It also offers a feature to calculate GDDs.


3.      NS Wild Blueberry Crop Development Schedule and Management Recommendations 2024: https://www.perennia.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Nova-Scotia-Wild-Blueberry-Crop-Development-Schedule-and-Management-Recommendations-2024.pdf.

This guide (updated in March 2024) highlights the most updated GDDs for important wild blueberry growth stages. I strongly recommend growers use this GDD tool to know your field's crop stage for better and timely management. Here are some numbers for growers to use as thresholds to plan field activities:


a.      Sprout field: plant emergence starts at 213 GDD. We recommend growers start applying pre-emergence herbicides (Chikara, Ignite, Spartan, Involve 50 WDG, Velpar etc) between 150- 200 GDD.

b.      Crop field- 40% F2: 166 GDD. After this point, growers should monitor weather and field conditions closely for Monilinia Blight management.

c.      Crop field- bloom stages and GDDs. 25% bloom- 400 GDD; 70% bloom- 470 GDD; 90% bloom- 526 GDD.

d.      Crop field- ripening fruits. First ripening fruit- 1142 GDD; 90% ripening- 1693 GDD (harvest point).

4.      Perennia’s NEW Online Searchable pest management guides. On April 10, Perennia will release its’ new online pest guides where growers can search based on different criteria. We will share the platform’s link with growers as soon as possible.


Upcoming Events


*Please visit Perennia Wild Blueberry Blog Calendar where important wild blueberry-related opportunities will be shown: http://www.novascotiawildblueberryblog.com/p/events.html.

1.     In-Season Wild Blueberry Growers’ Meeting Series: bi-weekly, 1 hour wild blueberry management information meeting from March to July. To register, please visit this link: https://www.perennia.ca/eventer/in-season-wild-blueberry-meeting-series-2024-production-season/edate/2024-03-27/

2.     Perennia: Introducing Perennia’s Online Pest Management Guides: April 10, 2024 at Noon. Perennia has created an online pest guide to streamline your pesticide selection process and help you access information more easily. Join us on April 10th as we show you how to maximize its usefulness to your farm. To register, please visit this link: https://www.perennia.ca/eventer/introducing-perennias-online-pest-management-guides/edate/2024-04-10/.

3.     Upcoming WBPANS wild blueberry twilight meetings: please watch WBPANS’ newsletter for the most up-to-date meeting information.



1st In-Season Wild Blueberry Meeting: March 27, 9-10 AM (Zoom)

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

 Hello, everyone

This is a reminder that the first wild blueberry grower meeting for this season is tomorrow, March 27 from 9-10 AM.

I will spend the first half an hour giving updates on the weather, crop development and management recommendations. At the end, we will have some time for people to ask questions and chat.

If you haven’t registered yet, please visit this link and register before tomorrow morning to receive meeting invitations.



Hurricane Fiona Supplemental Relief Program- Application deadline (1st round): March 15, 2024

Wednesday, February 28, 2024


We are pleased to launch the Hurricane Fiona Supplemental Relief Program to provide financial assistance for Nova Scotia farms in those areas of the province impacted by Hurricane Fiona who were not eligible for funding under previous programs. This funding is being provided by Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency with support from the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture.


Two key eligibility criteria are:

  • The damaged property must be located within the areas impacted by Hurricane Fiona: Hants, Colchester, Cumberland, Antigonish, Pictou, Halifax, and Guysborough counties. Businesses near but outside these boundaries may be eligible if they can demonstrate that the losses were the result of Hurricane Fiona.
  • The business must either have a gross annual business income of under $10,000 or over $2,000,000, or if between $10,000 and $2,000,000, have more than 20 full-time equivalent employees or have an ownership structure where no single entity owns more than 50 percent of the business


The program will fund up to 75 percent of eligible expenses not already covered by funding programs or insurance in the following categories:  infrastructure repair or replacement; greenhouse replacement; generator purchases and operation; debris removal; product lost in storage that is not insurable; and livestock, feed, and fencing.


No applicant will receive more than $1,000,000 in funding and the program will only cover replacement or repair to pre-Fiona conditions. For guidelines and application information visit www.perennia.ca/fiona.  


The first round of applications must be received by MARCH 15th, 2024.  Funding will be subject to available resources. We encourage you to submit your application early.

NSDA Program- 2023 Season Response Program Application open from Feb 21 to March 13, 2024

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

 Hi, everyone


NSDA just launched a new program to help farmers recover from crop production and financial losses due to extreme weather conditions experienced in the 2023 production season. The program is called 2023 Season Response Program, and here is the program link: https://novascotia.ca/programs/2023-season-response/. Under this link, you can find the program guidelines and application form. 

Deadline or important dates

Program opening: 21 February 2024
Application deadline: 13 March 2024

For more information or assistance please reach out to staff at your Regional Agriculture office, below.


Gary Koziel, P.Ag.

Senior Agriculture Representative

(902) 565-8132



Eastern Region

Daniel Muir, P.Ag.

Agriculture Representative

(902) 890-1787


176 College Road

Bible Hill, NS B2N 5G6

Marina Gillis, P.Ag.

Agriculture Representative

(902) 578-0786


360 Prince St. Suite 32 Sydney, NS B1P 5L1

Rhonda MacDougall, P.Ag.

Agriculture Representative

(902) 631-2264


190 Beech Hill Rd

Antigonish, NS B2G 0B4

Zoshia Fraser, M.Sc., P.Ag.

Agriculture Representative

(782) 370-2278


4016 Highway 302 Nappan

Cumberland, NS B0L 1C0

Jeff Hennessey

Business Development Officer

(902) 574-2032


360 Prince St. Suite 32 Sydney, NS B1P 5L1

Erin Sears

Business Development Officer

(902) 324-8784


176 College Road

Bible Hill, NS B2N 5G6

Emily Clegg

Business Development Officer

(902) 870-5183


190 Beech Hill Road

Antigonish, NS B2G0B4


Kim Kelly

Administrative Assistant

(902) 563-2000


360 Prince St. Suite 32 Sydney, NS B1P 5L1

Victoria Simpson

Administrative Assistant

(902) 863-4705

Victoria.Simpson@novascotia.ca 190 Beech Hill Rd

Antigonish, NS B2G 0B4

Nikki Moore

Administrative Assistant

(902) 893-6575

Nikki.Moore@novascotia.ca 176 College Rd

Bible Hill, NS B2N 5G6