Thursday, April 13, 2023




(Perennia’s Wild Blueberry Production Newsletter)

Dear Growers,

Here comes the 2023 season! We had a relatively mild winter with below-average snowfall in many areas and temperatures were near and above normal in Nova Scotia. The April forecast for the Atlantic region is above normal temperature. We are expecting another early spring in 2022 which means plant development speeds up.

Thank you for your ongoing support!


Hugh Lyu

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

April 13, 2023


Table of Contents: 

Nova Scotia Winter Updates and April Forecast

Current Season GDD Update (As of April 13)

Important Updates: Wild Blueberry Blog, Weather Stations, GDD etc.

Perennia’s New Farm Data Tools Platform

Useful/New Resources to Highlight

Upcoming Events




Nova Scotia Winter Updates and April Forecast


Winter conditions


According to the national agroclimatic risk report, the winter was relatively mild with below-average snowfall in many areas. Some areas of the region reported a record-breaking lack of snowfall. Temperatures were near and above normal in Nova Scotia over winter.

During the cold snap on February 4th, our weather stations recorded some of the lowest of the min wind chill in Cumberland weather stations (Figure 1). Therefore, my very first few field visits were in this area. Luckily, we didn’t see much winter damage (more details see below section).


Figure 1. Min Wind Chill – Feb. 4, 2023 (click on the photo to get a bigger view)


Winter Damage- crop field

As I mentioned above, I visited fields from Southampton to Halfway River, then visited fields around Kirkhill, York Settlement, Canaan Mt. etc., and the winter damage level was low.

End of March, I collected stems from Upper Rawdon, Debert and around the Turro area, all stems looked healthy and some of them already have blooms. (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Overwinter stems from Upper Rawdon

Overwinter Beehive Health

According to my conversation with a few beekeepers and government staff, our beehive winter losses were low this year. I heard winter losses ranged from 5%- 14%. This is certainly exciting and promising news!

April forecast

The April forecast for the Atlantic region is that temperatures are expected to be above normal. We already experienced some nice spring days and it is looking like the next two weeks will bring some warm days. Based on the current forcest for the next 14 days, we are looking at gaining 8-10 GDD each day. It is looking like we will get another early spring.



Current Season GDD Update (As of April 13)

This year, I will report 12 stations from wild blueberry fields to meet the research and extension needs. There are three ways I recommended if none of the stations I report meet your needs.

On April 13, 2023, this is the information from 12 stations and we are looking at an average of 37 GDD from those 12 stations.

Figure 3. GDD Summary from 12 Stations- April 13, 2023.

Last year, I also reported the GDD summary on the same date (April 13, 2022, Figure 4). Even though we are expecting an early spring, we are a little behind compared to last year just by looking at those numbers.

Figure 4. GDD Summary- April 13th, 2022

I always use West Caledonia station to give an idea of seasonal development. The GDDs from this station were 53.5 in 2023 and 75 in 2022.


Perennia’s New Farm Data Tools Platform



Perennia is excited to release its Farm Data Tools Platform and it offers a lot of great potential for future farm tool development. As for now, this platform offers a “Farm Weather Map” which includes all 100 weather stations under the weather station assistance program. The weather map shows the current weather information from the station and a “Growing Degree Days Calculator” to obtain GDDs for each station.

Below, I will share resources to set up your account (FREE!) and use the GDD calculator under the farm weather map. If you have any trouble, please let me know.


1.       Perennia’s Farm Weather Tools Platform: This is the home page for this platform.

2.       Please quickly read the farm weather map page before you set up your account:

3.       Under step 2’s link, you will see resources about GDD and two very useful resources to help you set up and access the map and the GDD calculator:

-          Farm Weather Map video tutorial:

-          Farm Weather Map Quickstart guide:



Important Updates: Wild Blueberry Blog, Weather Stations, GDD and Farm Data Tools Platform


As we are heading into a new season, I want to bring up some important updates we did over the winter.


Perennia’s Wild Blueberry Blog: the blog is ready to serve you for a new season! Please take a look and find useful tools and resources to achieve another successful production season.

-          Weather:

a.       Nova Scotia Wild Blueberry Weather Station Sites: This map includes all 55 stations in wild blueberry fields. When you click on each station, you will see the station’s detailed information and a live data link to obtain more weather data.


b.       Nova Scotia Wild Blueberry Field Soil Temperatures: This map includes 43 weather stations which come with soil temperature probes. If you want to check the station’s soil temperature (if available), you need to go to the live data link.


c.       55 stations live weather data: all 55 stations listed by counties show live weather data.


-          GDD& Phenology Tracker:

a.       Wild Blueberry GDD tracker: all GDD thresholds are up to date.


b.       How to obtain GDDs: under this, you will find three methods I listed to obtain GDDs.


Method 1: Perennia’s new Farm Data Tools ( Please see the “Farm Data Tools Platform” section for more details.


Method 2: Check the GDD& Phenology Tracker under Perennia’s Wild Blueberry Blog. Each season, Perennia’s Wild Blueberry will select some weather stations to monitor seasonal wild blueberry plant development in Nova Scotia. The criteria to pick what stations to report is based on research and extension needs.


Method 3: Using a GDD calculator sheet. This sheet can be used for any station if you can access the station’s daily temperatures. To download a copy, please go to:


c.       % of Wild Blueberry Fruit Bud F2 Stage Tracker: we will continue to report % of F2 from different fields and regions. Please check this information pre-monilinia season. We will update this information as we receive Infomation from fields.


-          Blight Line& Alerts and Newsletter: you will continue to receive blog posts regularly. Please subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss any important posts.



Useful/New Resources to Highlight


2023 Nova Scotia Guide to Pest Management in Wild Blueberry:


Nova Scotia Wild Blueberry Crop Development Schedule (with GDDs) and Management Recommendations:


Perennia’s new Farm Data Tools: Under this platform, growers can view weather stations near their farms and calculate GDDs:


GDD Calculator Excel Sheet:




Upcoming Events


Pesticide License Pre-Exam Courses by Marbicon

The next series of in-person courses from Marbicon Inc (Jim Jotcham) has been announced. Pre-exam courses (with 5.0 points available T2237).

April 14 - Berwick Legion in Berwick

April 20 - Newcombville Fire Hall in Newcombville, Lunenburg Co.

May 5 - Truro Horsemen’s Club in Bible Hill

More courses are expected in May.

Email/call Jim ( ) or 902-538-7101 to pre-register. More courses can be set up upon demand. Contact Jim if you’d like a course nearer to you and/or at a more convenient date. Pre-exam courses are $125 including HST. People sitting in for 5.0 recertification points for T2237 only pay $110 including HST. Cash or cheque or e-Transfer. Doors open at 8:30 am. Food & drink on your own. A course manual is provided.

2023 Twilight Meetings: waiting for information from WBPANS.


2023 WBPANS Field Day (Save the Date!):

When: Tuesday, July 18, 2023

WBPANS’ Annual Field Day will be held in Caledonia, NS this year at the Queen's County Exhibition Grounds. The tour will include Van Dyk's Wild Blueberry Juice Plant and local wild blueberry fields.

A block of rooms has been set aside at the Best Western Hotel in Bridgewater at a reduced rate of $199.99 plus taxes which also includes a hot breakfast buffet. These rooms and rates are available until June 30th so be sure to book early! To get the reduced rate, make sure to tell them you are with the NS Wild Blueberry group!

Please contact the hotel directly for reservations at 902-530-0101 or book online at:

Best Western Bridgewater Reservations.  

There are also many other accommodations in the area. Check out the listing and book early. Accommodations near Caledonia. Stay tuned for more details!