Florida Blueberry Producer Discusses Season

Clint ThompsonBlueberries, Florida

By Clint Thompson Florida blueberry producer Ryan Atwood would not classify this year as a bumper crop. But it was not a bad crop, either. It was somewhere in the middle. The Mount Dora, Florida, producer discussed this season as harvests continue to wind down across the state. “I always tell people it’s a five-year average. You’ve got good years, …

Alabama Blueberry Farmer Discusses Current Crop, Spring Freeze Events

Clint ThompsonAlabama, Blueberries

By Clint Thompson Two straight seasons of spring freeze events has one Alabama blueberry farmer ready to modify how he manages his blueberry crop. Jimmy Ferguson said this year’s late-season freeze impacted between 30% and 40% of his rabbiteye crop and about 20% of his highbush. That followed the freeze in 2023 that completely wiped out his 25-acre farm. “We’ve …

Florida Blueberry Producers Enjoying ‘Good Production’

Clint ThompsonBlueberries, Florida

By Clint Thompson Florida blueberry growers have enjoyed a prosperous season so far, though that prosperity could come to a halt once neighboring states start harvesting their crop. That could soon be the case, explains Doug Phillips, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) blueberry Extension coordinator. “I think it’s been good production. A number of folks …

Blueberry Imports Decreased in 2023

Clint ThompsonBlueberries

Blueberry import volumes dropped in 2023, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service Situation and Outlook Report. Fresh blueberry import volumes decreased 15%, down to 559 million pounds in 2023 from 657 million pounds in 2022. It marks the first decline in volumes since 2017. Import volumes in the latter half of last year were down 29% …

Courtesy of UF/IFAS: Florida Blueberry Season Means Yummy Fruit for Consumers

Clint ThompsonBlueberries, Florida

Ready to pick your own blueberries or buy them at the grocery store? Florida’s blueberry season is here, so you’ll likely find a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) variety near you. When consumers travel to the supermarket, they will not find blueberries labeled as UF/IFAS varieties. Chances are, however, if you are buying Florida-grown blueberries, …

UF/IFAS Research: Nitrogen Recommendations for Evergreen Blueberries Being Studied

Clint ThompsonBlueberries, Florida

By Clint Thompson Nitrogen recommendations for evergreen blueberry production in Florida are still a relative unknown for growers. Lauren Goldsby, graduate research assistant at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), hopes to provide some clarity with research at the UF/IFAS Citra location. “We’re aware that we can produce evergreen production in the state of Florida. …

Attention Blueberry Producers: SWD Spotted on Multiple Central Florida Farms

Clint ThompsonBlueberries, Florida

Florida blueberry producers should be wary that spotted wing drosophila (SWD) has been spotted on multiple farms in central Florida, which is earlier than normal compared to previous years. The Florida Blueberry Growers Association issued an alert to its members on Monday, including recommendations from University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension personnel that producers scout for …

Florida Blueberry Grower: Roller Coaster of Warm, Cold Temperatures

Clint ThompsonBlueberries, Florida

By Clint Thompson Weather challenged Florida blueberry production this year. It continues to disrupt harvest plans for growers who have already started picking this year’s crop. “It’s been a roller coaster of warm and then cold; warm and then cold. By the time it gets going, it gets shut down,” said Gary Smith, producer located in Winter Haven, Florida, who …

Blueberry Field Day: Helping Growers Remain Sustainable Now, Into the Future

Clint ThompsonBlueberries, Florida

By Clint Thompson Florida blueberry producers hope to remain sustainable now and into the future. That is why Thursday’s Florida Blueberry Growers Association spring meeting and field day at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Plant Science Research and Education Center in Citra, Florida, was so important. UF/IFAS researchers and graduate students provided vital information …

Not Going Away: UGA Entomologist Cautions Blueberry Producers Against SWD

Clint ThompsonBlueberries, Georgia

By Clint Thompson Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) remains a threat to Georgia blueberry production. If growers stray from their spray programs, it could have devastating results, believes Ash Sial, University of Georgia (UGA) entomologist. “Some growers, if they don’t see populations or don’t see activity in the field, especially when the weather is hot and dry, (they think) these flies …