BlueFocus Newsletter- July 2022

Friday, July 29, 2022


(Perennia’s Wild Blueberry Newsletter)


Dear Growers,

July is a busy and exciting month for the industry. While we are waiting for harvesting season to start, field days in different productions brought growers and industry partners together and reconnected. I attended field days in Maine, NS and NB and the overall feedback on this year’s production is good with decent yield potential prediction. The heat wave and high temperatures in the province promote good crop development but we are approaching dry conditions and adequate moisture is needed for sizing berries.  

I hope everyone has a great harvesting season!


Hugh Lyu

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

July 29, 2022



Table of Contents: 

NS Wild Blueberry Growing Degree Days Update

Wild Blueberry Industry Updates

Upcoming Management Recommendations

Government Programs

Upcoming Events and Courses

2022 Wild Blueberry Field Days Highlights


NS Wild Blueberry Growing Degree Days Update


Please see the below graph for the most updated accumulation of GDD information from weather stations in wild blueberry fields (Figure 1. GDD- July 28, 2022). The average accumulation GDD (since April 1) from 22 stations was 1493 on July 28. Under the wild blueberry GDD model, we are at 90% tip dieback stage (GDD- 1475) in sprout fields. We don’t have GDD information for mature fruits and harvesting schedules under the model, but based on other regions’ models and field observations, we are about 1.5-2 weeks away from harvesting. Some receiving stations are scheduled to open in the second week of August.

Figure 1. GDD- July 28, 2022



Wild Blueberry Industry Updates


The growing conditions for all wild blueberry production regions are decent this year.

In Nova Scotia, we didn’t get significant winter damage and spring frost events. The warm dry spring also resulted in very low disease this season. We had early bloom with some good pollination weather in many areas. However, there was a cool and windy period in the middle of bloom which could impact pollination efficiency in the impacted regions. Weed pressures are another yield reduction factor for our crop. As we are approaching harvesting and experiencing this heat wave across the province, adequate moisture is critical for our crop. Currently, the industry is predicting 50 million lbs for Nova Scotia.

Other regions also have good production and the dryness is one of the things concerning other regions as well, especially in Maine.

Yield potential prediction:

Nova Scotia: 50 million lbs (2021: 49.5 million lbs)

Maine: 90 million lbs (2021: 103.8 million lbs)

Quebec: 80 million lbs (2021: 36.3 million lbs)

New Brunswick: 55 million lbs (2021: 55.8 million lbs)

PEI: 20 million lbs (2021: 19.5 million lbs)


Upcoming Management Recommendations


Crop fields:

1.     Insects, trapping for SWD and Blueberry Maggot:

I haven’t heard reports about SWD and blueberry maggots in the northern regions/fields, but in the Annapolis Valley area, they are seeing both SWD and blueberry maggots.



  • For blueberry maggot: Yellow rectangles coated with sticky material and an attractive bait are used for monitoring the blueberry maggot. When the first capture is found, it is better to give a few days for more adults to emerge.


Please remember to check products’ pre-harvest interval and check with your processor before you apply products in fields.


Sprout fields:

1.     Leaf rust control in sprout fields: the goal of applying fungicides this time of the year in sprout fields is to keep the leaves on blueberry plants as soon as they can in the fall. This would help to keep plants healthy and for better fruit buds.


2.     Leaf tissue and soil sampling: if growers want to collect tissue and samples for analysis, it is a good time to do that now (tip-dieback stage). Here are two resources to help with sampling and interpretation of the reports:


a.     Soil and leaf sampling in wild blueberry production:

b.     Nova Scotia Wild Blueberry Leaf Nutrient Ranges:


3.     Red leaf disease: we are seeing more red leaf disease in both sprout and crop fields. In crop fields, this disease will cause early leaves and fruit drops. There are no control products for this disease. We ask growers to avoid spreading spores (white patches on the underside of infected leaves) by not walking through the diseased area.

Figure 2. Red leaf


Government Programs


NSDA- Blueberry Pollination Expansion Program

The Blueberry Pollination Expansion Program helps Nova Scotia beekeepers to expand their operations and increase the number of honeybee hives available for blueberry pollination in the province.

Details and application of the program: Application deadline: August 31, 2022.


NSDA- Food and Beverage Business Accelerator Program

The Food and Beverage Business Accelerator Program provides support for Nova Scotian food and beverage producers to access services provided by Perennia. Perennia's services can help food and beverage producers to improve their skills, access new markets, launch new products and develop new ideas for by-products.

Details and application of the program: Application deadline: November 30, 2022.


Upcoming Events and Courses


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


University of Maine: Wild Blueberry Production: A Five Week Course for Beginning Farmers

This course is an introduction to growing wild blueberries in Maine. The course covers field selection, agronomics, integrated pest management, pollinators, climate change challenges, economics, and an introduction to how this industry functions. The course includes one field trip during class time to observe an established blueberry field. This class is open to current students, and beginning and established farmers.

To register for the course, please visit:



2022 Wild Blueberry Field Days Highlights


This year, most productions hosted their in-person field days in mid-July. I didn’t go to the one in Quebec but I was able to make it to Maine, NS and NB’s field days. Here are some photos from field days. Thank you for attending WBPANS’ field days in East River Saint Marys!

Maine Wild Blueberry Field Day- Jonesboro, July 14, 2022

Open-top chambers for wild blueberry research

Grasshopper Harvester demo- Pictou County Berry Ltd.

Biochar-compost Demo



WBPANS Wild Blueberry Field Day- East River Saint Marys, July 19, 2022

Perennia Group


New electrical weeder (Weed Zapper) Demo

Drs. Scott White and Travis Esau, introduce Weed Zapper and weed management

New Brunswick Wild Blueberry Field Day- Aulac, July 21, 2022

Have a great long weekend!