BlueFocus Newsletter- June 2022

Tuesday, June 14, 2022



(Perennia’s Wild Blueberry Newsletter)

Dear Growers,

I hope all of you have had a great season so far. In this month’s newsletter, I will share updates from NS, and other production regions (Maine, QC, NB and PEI). We have a few field days coming up in July, so please remember to check out our event page.  


Hugh Lyu

Wild Blueberry Specialist, Perennia; 902-890-0472.

June 14, 2022

Table of Contents:  

Nova Scotia and Other Production Regions’ Updates

Upcoming Management Recommendations

Weather Station Apps and Website Training Session- Recorded Video Available

WBPANS 2022 Twilight Meetings Highlights

Upcoming Events


Nova Scotia and Other Production Regions Updates


NS Wild Blueberry Growing Degree Days and Crop Updates


Figure 1. Wild Blueberry GDD Summary- June 13, 2022


The average of GDD accumulations from all stations was 659 (as of June 13). We have many different production regions in the province with different crop stages, but in general, we are looking at plant emergence in sprout fields reaching 90% and the tip dieback stage is about to start. Most early and middle fields are looking to the end of pollination, and in areas like Advocate and Cape Breton, fields are still in the early to the mid-bloom stage.

Overall, this growing season has been going well with great yield potential if things stay adequately.

To this point, here are a few summary points about pests according to personal observation and communication with growers:

1.     Low monilinia infection due to dryness during susceptible crop stages (F2 to before bloom).

2.     We observed early development and noticed more red (sheep) sorrels this spring.

3.     I noticed more and fast development on grasses, such as poverty oat grass, common vetch, colonial bentgrass, witch grass and woolly panican grass. Last but not least, hair fescue.

4.     Broadleaf weeds: spreading dogbane, goldenrods, and hawkweed.

5.     We had some good pollination days in the last few weeks.

6.     2 major frosts in the mainland area didn’t cause significant damage to flowers across the province.


I also received updates from other regions’ specialists, here is the summary:



Last year's bud set was good due to rain in July and dry, sunny conditions otherwise. They had a very warm fall and didn't see a frost until October which is late for them. They've had a good bloom and pollination weather so far. Peak bloom was over. They have the usual amount of mummy berry, blueberry flea beetle and span worm. Spanworm seems to have enjoyed the warm fall conditions with more life cycles last season than is typical. 


No winter damage was observed in the spring. They are in middle bloom now. Similar to us, their frost events didn’t cause significant damage.

Quebec growers are experiencing a beehives shortage. On the fortune side, there was a good dispensability of bumble bees.


In the most region, there was little winter damage, observed.  Fields' growth stage is within a few days from the previous years.  Early spring weather made it seem like the crop was advanced, but things are returning to average dates.

Honey bees – There have been mixed reports of losses, a few medium operations had significant losses, but most larger commercial operations have losses similar to the previous year (ranging from 10-20%).  As the many blueberry growers depend on honey bees from Ontario, beehive availability is an important factor for NB’s crop yield in 2022.

Many growers in Northeastern NB also depend on the Alfalfa Leafcutter bee for pollination, and demand is staying stable or increasing.  As well, more growers ordered commercial bumble bee quads, as part of their pollination strategy. It is early to tell, but fruit bud numbers look good. 


The sprout fields last year set floral buds well due to the favourable weather and the winter weather was generally favourable as well (above average snowfall).

The Spring Monilinia season was not severe due to bouts of dry weather during the susceptibility period. There is a lack of honey bee hives on PEI this year which will hinder the crop’s yield potential.


Upcoming Management Recommendations


Sprout-year Fields:

·       Weed management: pull or cut weeds above the blueberry canopy before they go to seed or cut weeds to the base. If needed, apply selective post-emergent herbicide, such as Callisto 480 SC

·       When wild blueberry plants' growth stage reaches tip-dieback (black top on the top of plants), consider leaf tissue samples for nutrient analysis and take soil samples for pH analysis.

·       Leaf diseases control: apply fungicides for leaf diseases control, especially if high levels of leaf loss have occurred in the past


Crop-year Fields:

·       Weed management: pull or cut weeds above the blueberry canopy, especially in areas weeds are too tall that might hinder harvester operation

·       Insect management: preparing monitoring traps and monitoring for SWD and blueberry maggot


Weather Station Apps and Website Training Session- Recorded Video Available


The webinar recording for the Weather Station Apps and Website Training Session is now available on the Perennia YouTube channel.

You can find the link here:


WBPANS 2022 Twilight Meetings Highlights


This year, WBPANS organized two twilight meetings on May 31 and June 7. Here are some highlights from both meetings.

On May 31, the first meeting was held in Debert. Dr. David Percival and his group presented three topics:

1.     Improving agrochemical delivery efficiency and deriving canopy characteristics by use of UAV and remote sensing technology, by Joel Langdon

2.     Selective agrochemical and nutrient application to reduce production costs, by Daniel Mahoney

3.     Assessing fungicide efficacy for improved management of the wild blueberry foliar disease complex, by Alex Cornel


Figure 2. Joel Langdon introduced UAV and remote sensing technology


Figure 3. Daniel Mahoney talked about new sprayer technology


On June 7, the association and Perennia organized and presented the second twilight meeting in Parrsboro. We had a great turnout at the meeting.

Perennia’s Agri-technology Specialist, Thomas Harrington gave a detailed introduction to the Weather Station Program and a few data use examples. Wild Blueberry Specialist, Hugh Lyu, also talked about a few great ways to utilize the program and collected data to guide this season’s production and management.  



Figure 4. Thomas presented on the weather station program



Figure 5.  Peter Burgess (Executive Director, WBPANS) and growers


Upcoming Events


Please check out the event page under the wild blueberry blog for more details.


We have a couple of wild blueberry field days coming up in different regions in July. I only showed as many details as I know about those field days in this newsletter, so please check with each region for more details.


·       Perennia tailgate meeting- Compost and Cover Crops, July 11, 1-3 pm

Location: Soil Mates Farm, 297 Farmington Rd, Barss Corner, NS

More details and registration:


·       Maine Blueberry Hill Farm Field Day, July 14

Location: Blueberry Hill Farm, 1643 Rt 1, Jonesboro, ME

This year’s big field day will feature a morning of IPM with UMaine researchers, burgers on the grill for lunch, followed by an exciting afternoon with the following sessions: Improved Harvesters, Fresh Pack Technology, Drought Management, and Commission Updates.

More details and registration:


·       Quebec Field Day, July 14, Normandin, Quebec


·       WBPANS Field Day, July 19

Location: 581 West Side Road, East River Saint Mary’s, NS

Pre-registration is required! Please contact the WBPANS office to register before July 7,

2022 by phone: 902-662-3306 or email:


·       Bleuets NB Blueberries (BNBB) Field Day, July 21, Aulac, NB