End of July Reminders

Monday, July 23, 2018

It looks like many sprout fields are starting to get a little height.  Tip die back has started so we aren't going to get a whole lot more height.  Consideration should be given to keeping the leaves on the plant as long as you can into the fall.  A leaf rust spray applied soon will help do that, and allow for better fruit bud formation.

We are seeing blueberry maggot adults appear in fields.   Controls should be applied if you are catching adults and plan to harvest that field.  Go to the pest management guide for allowable products http://www.perennia.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Wild-Blueberry-Pest-Guide-2018.pdf.

Remember - check with your buyer to see which products are allowable for their markets.

Field Day Coming Up!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Just a reminder the Maritime Wild Blueberry Field Day is coming up on Thursday, July 12th at Sargent's Receiving station in Parrsboro. (1480 Smith Hollow Rd. Parrsboro)  9:00 - 4:00 pm.

Also a reminder about Blueberry Maggot!!

Given the last few weeks it can be easy to forget about a few things.  We are starting to creep up on blueberry maggot season.  There is still a lot of ground that is going to be picked this year.  Putting out yellow sticky traps to monitor for the emerging adults is going to be important.  You can can get traps at the WBPANS office in Debert (902-662-3306)

We are a little behind last year, from a heat standpoint, but given the forecast it is likely we will catch-up over the next week or so.

New Weather Station Linked to Ag Weather Atlantic

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Working with AAFC and Ag Weather Atlantic ( http://atl.agrometeo.org/index.php/weather/local ) we were able to set up a new weather station in the West Brook area of Cumberland county.  This links into the Ag Weather Atlantic Network. Check out the link above and explore the site.

Weather is always a big variable for farmers (that point was brought home to us this June).  If funding can be secured to continue Ag Weather Atlantic, we will begin integrating models specific to the wild blueberry production system that will help growers time applications and help growers get a better understanding of how the weather is impacting their wild blueberry crop.

Also, Perennia has just updated it's website. www.perennia.ca - If you look under Agriculture and Commodity Information you will find the Wild Blueberry page.  The page is much cleaner and easier to find what you are looking for.  Explore the whole site and see what Perennia is doing across the industry. 

Update from NS Crop and Livestock Commission

Monday, June 18, 2018

A note from NS Crop & Livestock Insurance regarding frost damage:
Any blueberry growers participating in crop insurance who believe their crops were impacted or may be impacted by recent frost events (or damage from any other insured perils) must provide a notice of damage to the Nova Scotia Crop and Livestock Insurance Commission. Notices can be mailed (P.O. Box 1092, Truro, N.S. B2N 5G9), faxed (902-895-4622) phoned (902-893-6370 or 1 800 565 6371) or emailed (nsclic@novascotia.ca) to the Commission offices.

Bill MacLeod, P.Ag.
Nova Scotia Crop and Livestock Insurance Commission
P.O. Box 1092, Truro, N.S. B2N 2P2

Crop Development and Damage

Thursday, June 14, 2018

It has been an eye opening week and a half.  We are seeing unprecedented damage across the province, with small pockets that appear to have had less impacts from the freeze.  Over the next week or so it will start to become evident the full impact of the damage. What was thought to be pollinated fruit will start to fall or turn purple and it won't swell, if it was damaged.

Some flowers haven't moved since the freeze and will not develop further.

David Percival and I pulled together a factsheet yesterday outlining some potential strategies that are being discussed.  If you are considering any of these strategies, read this document carefully and understand the risks and implications.


Frost update

Thursday, June 7, 2018

We had freezing temperatures again last night into this morning.  It wasn't as wide spread and we did not reach the duration or temperature minimums we saw on Monday morning.  If there is additional damage it should show up by mid morning and into the early afternoon today.

I looked at a good chunk of central Cumberland County yesterday and we are seeing significant damage throughout the region.

I did see some fields with open white flower, with pollinators active in the field. I also smelled blueberry bloom in a couple of fields which was encouraging.  However, some damage was still evident in these fields.

It is very difficult to determine the full extent of the damage at this point. I am still unsure if flowers that were pollinated before the frost event are still viable, in many of the fields I have looked at.  We should begin to see much of the impact over the next two weeks.

A decision to protect the crop against further disease, needs to be made on a field by field basis.  Growers need to be confident there is still a good yield potential before considering a treatment, to justify the cost of treatment and application.  I wish I could be more definitive but we are in uncharted territory. 

Frost Damage and Botrytis Risk?

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Many areas are still in what would be mid bloom.  With the tissue damage caused by the frost on Sunday night and the wet weather over the last 24 hrs, it is likely that Botrytis risk is building, particularly in Botrytis prone fields.  Obviously the severity of damage that occurred on Sunday night and Monday morning is critical to determining whether a Botrytis treatment is cost effective.

WBPANS circulated a factsheet via e-mail from Dr. David Percival yesterday which can help ID frost damage. Dr. Percival also circulated this factsheet at the twilight meetings last week. Here are some screen shots of that factsheet.  I will try and get the full factsheet posted later today.

If you are still seeing significant amount of white flowers in your field and bees are still active in the field, that is a good sign.  Protecting against further disease may be prudent in these fields.

Note: the weather forecast is for another frost event across the Maritimes tonight!

For many fields that have severe damage, it may not make sense to treat for Botrytis as too much of the crop has been lost.

For fields that have moderate damage, it would be worth your time to look closely at those fields, determine pollinator activity. Also cut open some flowers to see if the base of the flower (ovaries) are black. If the temperature was cold enough for long enough, the pollinated flowers could have been damaged as well.  This is what happened in 1996 when we had a major frost event near the end of bloom.

I will be looking at fields today and will report tomorrow.

If you have crop insurance and you think you have damage, please call the Nova Scotia Crop and Livestock Insurance Commission ASAP to report damage to your fields!!