BLUE FOCUS NEWSLETTER- Winter 2024 Edition

Wednesday, March 27, 2024


BLUE FOCUS NEWSLETTER- Winter 2024 Edition

(Perennia’s Wild Blueberry Production Newsletter)

Dear Growers,

Based on how we felt about the last few week’s weather and some data we collected from weather stations this time of the year, it is looking like we might have an early spring. According to some national weather forecasts, Nova Scotia has an 80-90% chance of above-normal spring temperatures from March to May. We are already seeing some factors that will contribute to early and fast plant development, such as warmer temperatures and adequate spring rainfall.

These are just some signs to tell the wild blueberry community, the 2024 wild blueberry season is here.

This winter edition newsletter will provide some updates on winter weather and the forecast, resources& management tool updates, and upcoming industry events.


Hugh Lyu

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

March 27, 2024



Table of Contents: 

Nova Scotia Winter Updates and April Forecast

Wild Blueberry Resources and Management Tools

Upcoming Events




Nova Scotia Winter Updates and April Forecast

Air temperature trend in NS from Oct 1 to March 15:

This past fall, NS and other parts of Canada experienced some record-breaking fall temperatures in 2023. In Figure 1, those periods were the first two weeks of October and the beginning of December.

This past winter also mixed a few warm periods (+10 °C) in Nova Scotia. We also had some cold days when snow coverage was sufficient across the region.

An interesting thing to note is that after March, we had above-average warmer days every single day (Figure 1). This is a sign that we are going to see earlier plant emergencies and fast development if we continue to experience warmer temperatures this spring. According to the national forecast, we have an 80-90% chance to see above-normal temperatures in Nova Scotia this spring.


Soil temperature trend in NS from Oct to March 15:

Soil temperature changes as air temperature fluctuates. In Figure 2, some above-average soil temperature periods were also in the first two weeks of October and the beginning of December. Soils in Nova Scotia should be below 0 °C this past winter.

Similar to air temperatures in March, soil temperatures were also above average in the first two weeks of March. From the Wild Blueberry weather station data, we observed that soil temperatures in wild blueberry fields range from 1-5 °C. Again, this is another sign of fast and early plant development.

Figure 1. Air temperatures in Kentville Research Weather Station, Oct 1, 2023, to March 15, 2024

Figure 2. Soil  temperatures (5 cm) in Kentville Research Weather Station, Oct 1, 2023 to March 15, 2024

Figure 3. Forecast probability of temperature above, below, and near normal.


Wild Blueberry Resources and Management Tools


Here are some Perennia wild blueberry extension resources and management tools for growers.

1.      Perennia Wild Blueberry Blog:

Please subscribe to and continue to follow the blog for wild blueberry management. Some important information covered under the blog includes:

a.      Wild Blueberry Weather Station Network (including soil temperatures)

b.      GDD updates- 17 weather stations in the 2024 season (Figure 4)

c.      Monilini Blight monitoring

d.      Production newsletter

e.      Wild blueberry and Industry event calendar:


Figure 4. 17 weather stations for GDD updates in the 2024 season


2.      Perennia Farm Data Tool:

Under the Farm Weather Map, you would be able to select your weather station and get the weather data. It also offers a feature to calculate GDDs.


3.      NS Wild Blueberry Crop Development Schedule and Management Recommendations 2024:

This guide (updated in March 2024) highlights the most updated GDDs for important wild blueberry growth stages. I strongly recommend growers use this GDD tool to know your field's crop stage for better and timely management. Here are some numbers for growers to use as thresholds to plan field activities:


a.      Sprout field: plant emergence starts at 213 GDD. We recommend growers start applying pre-emergence herbicides (Chikara, Ignite, Spartan, Involve 50 WDG, Velpar etc) between 150- 200 GDD.

b.      Crop field- 40% F2: 166 GDD. After this point, growers should monitor weather and field conditions closely for Monilinia Blight management.

c.      Crop field- bloom stages and GDDs. 25% bloom- 400 GDD; 70% bloom- 470 GDD; 90% bloom- 526 GDD.

d.      Crop field- ripening fruits. First ripening fruit- 1142 GDD; 90% ripening- 1693 GDD (harvest point).

4.      Perennia’s NEW Online Searchable pest management guides. On April 10, Perennia will release its’ new online pest guides where growers can search based on different criteria. We will share the platform’s link with growers as soon as possible.


Upcoming Events


*Please visit Perennia Wild Blueberry Blog Calendar where important wild blueberry-related opportunities will be shown:

1.     In-Season Wild Blueberry Growers’ Meeting Series: bi-weekly, 1 hour wild blueberry management information meeting from March to July. To register, please visit this link:

2.     Perennia: Introducing Perennia’s Online Pest Management Guides: April 10, 2024 at Noon. Perennia has created an online pest guide to streamline your pesticide selection process and help you access information more easily. Join us on April 10th as we show you how to maximize its usefulness to your farm. To register, please visit this link:

3.     Upcoming WBPANS wild blueberry twilight meetings: please watch WBPANS’ newsletter for the most up-to-date meeting information.