Michigan State University has received a four-year, $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative to improve blueberry pollination. The project is led by Rufus Isaacs, a professor in the Department of Entomology, and includes researchers from MSU, Oregon State University, the University of Florida, and Washington State University.
The popularity of blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) has been rising worldwide, due to their nutritional bioactive compounds such as flavonoids, anthocyanins and polyphenols. These factors enhance the demand for fresh blueberries in the Czech market, which resulted in an increase of blueberry plantations in the Czech Republic.
Those hoping to stock up on blueberries for the freezer may have limited options this year, as drought conditions combined with coronavirus precautions have reduced yields for many producers both locally and statewide. On a national level, a significant amount of blueberries originate from Maine producers.
A test year, is what Sil Moonen calls the current season for blueberries. "Normally we always say at the start of the Dutch season that the market will only pick up when the schools start again and everyone is back from their holiday. Now that many people are holidaying at home to a greater or lesser degree, things could turn out quite differently for us.
The blueberry season is winding down across Southeastern North Carolina but local farmers aren’t exactly thrilled with this year’s crop due to a number of reasons. Problems for local farmers began in January with warmer temperatures than normal which made plants start growing followed by an early freeze in February which eliminated all early blooming varieties.
A large fire affected the facilities of two well-known blueberry firms in the Concordia region. Cristian Bravo, head of the Voluntary Fire Department, said that “at 0:32, we were informed of a fire at kilometer 263 of the Artigas Highway. Some facilities belonging to the fruit and blueberry packaging and processing company Integrity S.A, where Agroberries also operates, were burning down.
Strong rain and hailstorms in the central agricultural region of Serbia have severely affected numerous plantations of blueberries and other fruit and vegetable products. It is still too early to calculate exactly the damage that this meteorological phenomenon will cause in the production and harvest of blueberries, which will begin in June.
The season for haskap berries is still a few months away, but already some growers are worried for a repeat of last season. Not only was the season super-short, but a percentage of the crops were also damaged by severe spring frosts. The new haskap season will hopefully be a bit longer than the previous one.
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