Tuesday, October 11, 2022

 Fall Reminders and Updates

Happy Fall, everyone! Although I have been talking to some individuals, it has been a while since I communicate with all of you through a blog post. In this post, I will share some updates and reminders:

Weather stations and soil temperatures

Fall mowing& weed management and chemical shortage



Weather stations and soil temperatures

Weather stations: Perennia is starting to install new weather stations for the second-round successful applicants (Click on this link to know what the weather station assistance program is?). As of today, there are in total of 32 stations in wild blueberry fields: 8 in Colchester, 8 in Cumberland, 9 in Pictou, 4 in the South Shore Counties and 3 in Cape Breton). I encourage you to look and know where those stations are and start to use the data to assist your management. There are two easy ways to access those data:

1.       Perennia Wild Blueberry Blog Weather Page

2.       Cape Breton Mesonet

We are expecting more stations to be installed before the year ends, I will send another update and reminder before the next production season starts.

Soil temperatures: some stations have soil temperature sensors where daily high and low soil temperatures are reported to help with management, especially herbicide application in the fall, Kerb for instance. If you need to apply Kerb this fall, it is worthwhile to understand your local soil temperature and make the application at the appropriate time. Again, to access soil temperature data, growers can visit Perennia Wild Blueberry Blog Weather Page where I update soil temperatures from available stations regularly. As of today, most stations and fields we monitor are getting low soil temperatures (around 10 degree Celsius).


Fall mowing& weed management and chemical shortage

Fall mowing: It is recommended growers wait until after the first hard frost in the fall to mow their crop fields. Many of you understand and know how to conduct this task, but if you are new to this and want to learn more about wild blueberry pruning, here is a good factsheet to read: https://cdn.dal.ca/content/dam/dalhousie/images/sites/wild-blueberry/pdfs/Pruning%20Wild%20Blueberries.pdf.

Fall weed management: besides mowing in the fall, another big task to do for growers is weed management. I wrote an article about fall weed management and it covers some common questions asked by growers. I encourage you to read this article: https://www.atlanticfarmfocus.ca/farm-focus-august-2022/2022/10/5/fall-is-a-good-time-to-manage-weeds-in-wild-blueberry-fields.

Fall herbicides commonly used by growers include Chateau (moss control), Ignite, Casoron G-4 (control grasses and tough perennial weeds), Kerb SC (hair fescue control), Spartan, Chikara etc.

A special note for Kerb (I hope all of you know this already!). It is recommended to apply Kerb when soil temperatures are below 10 degrees Celsius, and the ground shouldn't be frozen when Kerb is applied.

Chemical shortage:

We are experiencing a chemical shortage due to some known reasons. I can’t help with the supply chain issue but I am certainly up to help you to build your fall and next spring weed management program. Some good tips and questions to ask yourself while we are waiting for things to get normal:

1.       It is important to understand the weed composition of your fields which requires scouting and proper weed identification.

2.       Do I really need Kerb or other herbicides? Applying kerb is becoming a common strategy for many growers, but do you really need it or other cheaper and alternative chemicals can be used in the fall or at a different time (next spring)?

3.       Put thoughts for next spring!  Make your weed management program and make orders for those chemicals.

4.       If you are not sure, please feel free to give Hugh a text or call and I am happy to visit your fields and help you to determine what is the suitable weed management for your farms.




Last but not least, AGM!

Most of you would receive an email from WBPANS regarding this year’s AGM. Here are some details posted by the association.


The Annual Meeting of the Wild Blueberry Producers Association of Nova Scotia will be held on November 17 and 18 at the Best Western Glengarry Hotel & Convention Centre in Truro. 


For the first time since 2019, we are returning to a full AGM program including a trade show! 


Thursday, November 17 will see focused discussions in the morning followed by our business meeting in the afternoon. A reception to honour our Recognition Award Recipients will be held Thursday evening. Friday, November 18 will be technical sessions with researchers and experts.


A block of rooms has been set aside at the Best Western Glengarry Hotel in Truro, please give them a call to book your room: 902-893-4311.


Lunch will be provided both days so PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED by calling the office at 902-662-3306 or emailing info@nswildblueberries.com


Businesses wishing to discuss sponsorship opportunities can give Peter or Janet a call at 902-662-3306.


Stay tuned for more details!