Archive for April, 2012

Life Cycle of the Japanese Beetle

April 30, 2012

Know thine enemy. Japanese beetles are a pesky little invasive species that loves to eat the roots of turf grass. Linked below is an educational course on the life cycle and control of Japanese beetles. Not for the faint of heart, this educational odyssey utilizes cutting edge computer graphs. Enjoy ;Life Cycle of the Japanese Beetle)

Life Cycle of the Japanese Beetle:


Organic Matter Additions for Blueberry Crops

April 27, 2012

Blueberries require soil with a pH of 4.5 to 5.5. For soils that typically have a low organic matter content, incorporating peat moss or well-decayed pine sawdust or bark will improve plant survival and growth. Apply 3 inches to 4 inches of the organic material over the row in a band 18 inches to 24 inches wide and incorporate thoroughly using a rototiller or spade to a depth of 6 inches to 8 inches. For small plantings, the soil structure may be improved by the incorporation of organic materials such as peat, pine bark or leaf mold into the soil. Heavy soils require larger quantities than do lighter soils and are more difficult to maintain. Mix 2 to 5 gallons of wet peat moss or milled pine bark with the soil in each planting hole. Do not use any agriculture lime.


Berries may delay memory decline: News article

April 26, 2012

A recent large study found that a diet rich in berries (including blueberries) may help to reduce the likelyhood of getting Alzheimer’s.

Read more here: 

Blueberry Insect Pest Identification Guide

April 25, 2012

The intent of this guide is to inform blueberry producers of all blueberry pests that can attack blueberry crops in the United States. Pests may be different depending on which region your crops are located.

Contact your local Cooperative Extension Service office to confirm identification of any pest(s) you may find.

Enter the Guide here:

How to Thin Blueberry Bushes – Video

April 24, 2012

Thinning a blueberry bush is a necessary step for increasing the longevity of the plant. Find out more about thinning your blueberry bush from a professional organic gardener, Jeff Belli, in this free video:



Effect of Mulches on the Establishment of Organically Grown Blueberries in Georgia

April 23, 2012

This self-directed course teaches about using mulch in organic blueberry production in Georgia. It addresses primary problems including; insect control, disease control and weed control, as well as, fertilizers used at the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Alapaha Research Station.

Participants will learn about using mulch as the first line of defense in weed control, fungicides used for leaf spot control in organic blueberries and leaf beetle control. Information about fertility studies is also given, as is information on organic high tunnel research.

Click here to access the course.

For more information, contact Gerard Krewer at 229.392.1388.



After Harvest and Other Considerations For Blueberries

April 20, 2012

Following harvest, fungicides may still need to be applied to protect the foliage from late season fungal diseases, such as rust and Septoria leaf spot. After harvest, use a good broad spectrum preventative fungicide that can be used. You can use a fungicide with the active ingredient chlorothalonil. For most fungicides, applications can be made at 14-day intervals after harvest is complete. The number of applications is determined by disease pressure and weather conditions. You may make three or four applications at the most, but may be able to get away with just one if disease pressure is light or disease is not present.

Always scout fields frequently for the presence of diseases. Obtain an accurate diagnosis for each disease in the field. Fungicides other than the one suggested here may be better management options, depending on the particular disease and the incidence and severity of that disease. Make sure applications are made in enough water to completely cover the foliage. This will usually range from 20 gallons to 100 gallons per acre depending on plant size. The early season and late season sprays are essential to maintain good plant health and some of the mid-season sprays may not be necessary, depending on your situation.

Contact your local Cooperative Extension Service office for information specific to your area.


Cline, Bill and John R. Meyer. Blueberry Pest Management: A Seasonal Overview. June 1997. Retrieved 10 March 2010.


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Enjoy Louisiana Blueberries

April 19, 2012

Fresh, locally grown rabbiteye blueberries are available from early May through mid-June in South Louisiana and from early June through mid-July in North Louisiana.

Blueberries are nature’s No. 1 source of antioxidants among more than 50 fresh fruits and vegetables tested by the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston.

The deep blue color of blueberries is from pigments, called anthocyanins that act as antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that protect cells against damage by free radicals that form in the body. Uncontrolled free radical formation can cause cell damage that may lead to cancer, heart disease, inflammation and other health problems.

Blueberries are a good source of fiber and vitamin C. One-half cup of blueberries has only 42 calories.

Fresh, locally grown rabbiteye blueberries are available from early May through mid-June in South Louisiana and from early June through mid-July in North Louisiana. Blueberries from other sections of the country are plentiful in supermarkets in July and August.

Read more of Enjoy Louisiana Blueberries from the LSU AgCenter: Click on pdf at bottom for recipes!

Blueberry Farms of the Future!

April 18, 2012

This self-directed course gives a glimpse of what future blueberry farms will look like and some of the issues producers will face. Slides in this presentation cover: site selection, changing perspectives on land use, generating farm inputs, monitoring and control, GPS and remote sensing technology for blueberries, pest control, fertilization, as well as other cultural changes.

Click here to access the course:




April 17, 2012

Fertilizer may be applied in liquid form through the irrigation system rather than surface applying dry granular material. This process is known as “fertigation.”

There are some advantages to fertigation, including:
Fertilizer is more efficiently used.
Fertilizer may be applied weekly in small amounts so that it is more available when the plant needs it.
Application cost is considerably less.
Nutrients more quickly reach the root zone in a soluble form.
Nutrient application is more precise.

There are also some disadvantages, including:
Irregular growth and possible damage to plants if the irrigation system is not working properly.
Specialized equipment must be added to the irrigation system.
Soluble fertilizer is relatively more expensive than granular fertilizer.

It is important the irrigation system functions properly and all plants receive the same amount of water. If water distribution is erratic, some plants may be under fertilized while other plants may receive more fertilizer than is needed. On sloping ground, the use of pressure compensating emitters is necessary to insure that plants in the low areas do not receive more water than those on the higher ground.

Read the rest of this article: