Friday, May 31, 2024



(Perennia’s Wild Blueberry Production Newsletter)

Photo Credit: Sarah Sachaefer


Dear Growers,

Welcome to the wild blueberry bloom season! What a big change in the last two weeks in central NS where we switched from clusters of fruit buds to almost mid-bloom in a week. According to the weather station data, we had above-average temperatures over the previous two weeks in the province. The provincial degree day accumulations based on Kentville station indicated that we are ahead of 5- and 10-year averages. It is almost 2-3 days ahead of the normal schedule. In this update, we will talk about precipitation data as well.  

Below this newsletter, you will find the regular updates on wild blueberry production and management. Good luck with pollination and spraying! Please make sure you protect pollinators when performing field activities. Thank you for all the hard work from wild blueberry growers and their helpers, as well as the beekeepers!


Hugh Lyu

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

May 31, 2024


Table of Contents: 

Nova Scotia Weather

Wild Blueberry GDD Updates and Management Recommendations

Management Resources and Tools

Upcoming Events




Nova Scotia Weather


2024 Degree Day Accumulations- Kentville

The below figure would give you an idea of how the season is progressing related to air temperature. This is based on Kentville Research Weather Station. Thank you, Jeff Franklin (AAFC) and Michelle Cortens for your contribution.

 Figure 1: Heating degree day accumulations for plant (above 5°C) and insect (above 10°C) development from March 1 to May 27 for the past 17 seasons. Provided by Jeff Franklin (AAFC).


Table 1: Heating degree day accumulations for plant (above 5°C) and insect (above 10°C) development from March 1 to May 27 for the past 17 seasons. Provided by Jeff Franklin (AAFC).

The degree day accumulations beginning on March 1 are ahead of the 5- and 10-year averages (Figure 1). There are about 40 GDD differences between the 5-year average and 2024. That’s about 2-3 days ahead of the recent years’ schedule.


Cumulative Precipitation (Kentville)

From late April to the end of this month, we had a fairly dry season but there were still some significant wet periods (May 8-9 and May 16-17). A dry season during the Monilinia Blight infection season is positive thus the initial observations of Monilinia Blight infection in NS are low.

The Kentville area received 25 mm of rain in May compared to the 25-year average of 75 mm as of May 29. Figure 2 shows the cumulative precipitation over the last five years and the 10-year average in Kentville Research Station. We had some significant rainfall events in March and early April so we have been above the 10-year average but a deficit precipitation will likely bring it below the average.

Figure 2: Both rainfall and the rainfall equivalent from snow at the Kentville Research Station from 2019 to 2024. Provided by Jeff Franklin (AAFC).



Wild Blueberry GDD Updates and Management Recommendations


Here is a summary of the most up-to-date GDD from 16 weather stations in wild blueberry fields.


Figure 3. GDD summary- April 1- May 31, 2024


Sprout fields:


In province-wide, we are looking at above 50% plant emergence across the majority of sprout fields.


At this point:


-       It is very risky to apply pre-emergence herbicides to sprout fields.

-       Consider post-emergence herbicide application (Callisto, Venture L, etc.) and spot spray

-       Consider granular fertilizer application

-       Consider sulfur application (soil pH management)

-       Please monitor insect pests, such as flea beetle, blueberry thrips, and leaf beetles. Figure 4 shows flea beetle infestation in a sprout field in early June. If damage is observed, growers should consider insecticide application if it is early or consider fertilizer application in damaged spots to help plants to re-grow.

Figure 4. Flea Beetle Infestation in a Sprout field


Crop fields:

The majority of crop fields in NS are in the early to mid-bloom stages. Please consider the following activities based on your own situation:

-       Placing beehives or bumble bees in crop fields to increase pollination efficiency

-       Blossom Botrytis Blight Management

-       Frost watch



Management Resources and Tools


Perennia Online Pest Management Guide

Beginning this year, all of the pest management guides are now available from an online tool. On the tool, you will find wild blueberries under the small fruit pest guides section. You can search and filter the information and/or print. To help you navigate the guide, we have developed a brief tutorial video as well as a how to use guide.

Upcoming Events


1.     Join us on June 7, 2024, from 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM and learn how to properly care for your Davis Vantage Pro 2 weather station! During this in-person workshop, we’ll discuss the Davis recommended annual maintenance steps and some common troubleshooting. We will also cover how to access your station’s data. If you would like to follow along with the instructions on accessing your data, please bring a mobile device and the login information for your station, so you can access your account. Registration:


2.     Wild Blueberry Growers Meetings: June 12, June 26, July 10

For meeting details and registration, please visit this link:


3.     Free Webinar on Pesticide Drone Application: June 19, 1 PM Halifax time; Over Zoon.  To register:


4.     WBPANS Field Day. To register: