Archive for March, 2011

Blueberry Smoothie Recipe

March 31, 2011

Photo courtesy of Carey Kirk Griffin.

Blueberry smoothies are a great after-school snack. Click here for a tasty recipe!

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NC Blueberry Crops Unscathed by Record Low Temps

March 30, 2011

Ice covers the blueberries at Blair Farm in Pender County, N.C. on March 29. Photo by Mike Spencer.

Wilmington, N.C. set a record low of 31 F Tuesday morning, March 29, but even colder temperatures apparently failed to damage the blueberry crop in Pender County.

Blueberries are in full bloom, and the picking will start in early May, said Butler Anderson, an operating officer for a blueberry farm near Rocky Point.

Read more of North Carolina Blueberry Crops Unscathed by Record Low Temperatures.

Clemson Plants Blueberries as Part of Edible Landscape

March 29, 2011

Blueberry plants are just some of the plants that have been planted as part of a project that aims to make Clemson University’s campus more environmentally friendly — and tastier.

Read more about Blueberries Part of Clemson’s Edible Landscape.

Free webinars

March 28, 2011

Experts from land-grant universities, government and industry host webinars on seasonal topics and current research to help Americans improve their lives. These April webinars are listed on eXtension.org, the online information delivery program of the Cooperative Extension System. Click link here for more information.

Agricultural Research Center Helps Increase Blueberry Yields, Profits

March 23, 2011

Bill Cline, extension specialist, takes a look at a variety of different blueberry plants.

The perfect blueberry is elusive.

But across Castle Hayne Road from the GE plant, there’s a farm with rows of muscadine grapes, some blueberry bushes and several small buildings.

This is not a state-supported Area 51 for alien fruits. It’s an N.C. State University Horticultural Crops Research Station, one of 18 research farms operated in cooperation with the N.C. Department of Agriculture.

Read more about Agriculture Research Center Helps Increase Blueberry Yields, Profits.

Backyard Blueberries Workshop

March 21, 2011

Backyard Blueberries Workshop given by Laurel County UKY Cooperative Extension Service 6 p.m. March 21. The information presented will be for commercial producers as well as those who want to grow a few blueberries in the backyard for personal use. Topics covered include soil preparation, plant selection, disease control, and harvesting techniques. Additionally, the first 40 people who register and pay the materials fee will receive two blueberry plants. Materials fee—$20.

For more information or to register, contact:
Bonnie Sigmon (606) 864-4167 Extension 105, or bonnie.sigmon@uky.edu.

Growing Blueberries at Home

March 19, 2011

The blueberry is a small fruit that is very popular, but can be challenging and frustrating for some home gardeners, said a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator.

“Blueberries require specific soils and climatic conditions that may not be found in many parts of Illinois, particularly the northern parts of the state,” said Maurice Ogutu.

Blueberries require acidic soils with high organic matter content. They can be injured by late-spring and early fall frosts and also midwinter temperatures below negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Blueberry plants are also expensive—the 2- or 3-year-old plants can cost over $7 per plant

Read more about Growing Blueberries at Home.

Scientists Find Calcium Fertilizer Benefits

March 17, 2011

Tests by Argentina’s National University de La Plata (UNLP) have shown blueberry production and size increases with the use of calcium-based fertilizers.

Calcium is usually not used in fertilization programs, but the study conducted by the university’s Faculty of Agricultural Sciences showed it helped boost blueberry diameter by 5 percent, performance by between 5 percent and 21 percent, as well the growth of new basal shoots by between 36 percent and 61 percent.

Read more about Agrentine scientists find calcium fertilizer benefits.

Strong Demand Expected for Big Florida Blueberry Crop

March 16, 2011

Winter Haven, Fla.-based SunnyRidge Farm Inc. expects to begin picking the week of March 21, with volume peaking the second week of April, said Keith Mixon, the company’s president and chief executive officer.

The Florida blueberry industry is expected to produce up to 18 million pounds this season, about 3 million more than in 2010, Mixon said.

The season is projected to start slightly earlier than normal, Mixon said, thanks to excellent growing weather. The winter cold that hurt Florida vegetables proved to be ideal for dormant blueberry plants, he said.

Read more here.

Japan Nuclear Incident May Disrupt Blueberry Businesses

March 16, 2011

California blueberry producers warned Japan nuclear incident may have a disruptive effect on their business.

Read more here.