Agenda for 2018 Blueberry Education Workshop

2018 MISSISSIPPI BLUEBERRY EDUCATION WORKSHOP

January 23, 2018

1-5pm

MSU Forrest County Extension Office

952 Sullivan Drive

Hattiesburg, MS 

39401-2714

Time                      Author, Title

1:00-1:30pm       Registration (no charge, just sign in upon arrival)

1:30-1:50pm       Updated Research on Spotted Wing Drosophila

                                Dr. Blair Sampson

Research Entomologist

USDA-ARS Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory, Poplarville, MS

1:50-2:10pm       I am GAPs certified- do I need additional training and documentation under FSMA?

Dr. Juan Silva

Professor, Food Processing

Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS

2:10-2:30pm       Proper Disease Sampling Techniques

Dr. Rebecca Melanson

Assistant Professor, Extension Plant Pathologist

Mississippi State University, Central MS Research and Extension Center, Raymond, MS

2:30-2:50pm       Break

2:50-3:10pm       Accelerating small fruit breeding through genetic technology

                                Dr. Ebrahiem Babiker

Research Geneticist

USDA-ARS Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory, Poplarville, MS 

3:10-3:40pm       Potential of UAS (Drone) Technology in Agriculture

                                Louis Wasson

Senior Extension Associate, Unmanned Aerial Systems in Agriculture

Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS

3:40-4:00pm       Q&A, Evaluation

4:00pm                 Drone Demonstration

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Mississippi Vaccinium Journal Oct-Dec 2015

The latest issue of the Mississippi Vaccinium Journal is out. In it several topics are covered including some SWD research, red leaf color, government programs, revised publications, and more.  Check it out by downloading the PDF at the link below:

Mississippi Vaccinium Journal. 2015. Vol. 4 Issue 4

A Few Early Grape Clusters

This morning I was out in the vineyard to harvest a few grape clusters for a study on Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) egg laying habits conducted by Dr. Blair Sampson.  These cultivars are unusual in that they are rarely grown outside of the southern U.S.  I harvested one or two clusters (depending on the number of berries available per cluster) from ‘Victoria Red’ (Ark 1123 x Exotic), ‘Cimarron’ (V. cinerea var. canescens x Seneca), ‘MidSouth’ (De Grasset x Galibert 255-5), ‘FAMU 99’ (unknown to me), and ‘Champanel’ (V. champinii x Worden).  These are not fully ripe in the eating or processing sense, but they are close enough for this study to work.  Below is a photo of ‘Champanel’, ‘Cimarron’, and ‘MidSouth’.

Champanel, MidSouth, and Cimarron (Top to Bottom)

Champanel, MidSouth, and Cimarron (Top to Bottom)

So, even though I have these in my vineyard it doesn’t mean they do well.  This is the first year I’ve had Champanel grapes, but overall it looks decent.  The vine looks healthy, not a lot of rot (which is really saying something this year), no PD symptoms, and a good bit of fruit.  I had trouble establishing the vine for whatever reason, but it looks good now.

MidSouth is an intriguing vine that I have written about before.  It has a moderate vigor and moderate yield.  The vine is suffering from a nutrient deficiency (that I believe is Mg) that some vines in the vineyard show symptoms of as well.  However, overall the vine looks okay.  The flavor is what I like — it reminds me of raspberry.  It isn’t quite ripe yet though and acid levels are high.  It was never recommended as a wine grape although it could be useful in blending (maybe).

Cimarron is a cultivar released from Oklahoma State University in the 1970s.  A strong Concord-like flavor and aroma.  It does not do well in south Mississippi.  Vines have PD symptoms and have only produced a small amount of fruit.  Terminal portions of the cordons are dying back now and some clusters along with it (from PD).  I suspect they may die back to the ground over the winter and come back, but it is no way to get a viable amount of grapes.  Too bad too, as the clusters don’t have any rot and they look nice.  Other OSU cultivars, Rubaiyat and Sunset are also in the vineyard but have little to no fruit and exhibit PD symptoms.  They are non-starters too.

In the coming weeks I will be harvesting more fruit — even hope to crush some of the Blanc du bois, Miss blanc, and Villard blanc (and perhaps a couple others).

2015 Mississippi Blueberry Education Workshop Presentations

Last week (February 12), MSU Extension, USDA-ARS, and the Gulf South Blueberry Growers’ Association co-hosted a blueberry education workshop for Mississippi blueberry growers.  The agenda was as listed below.  Click on the name of the presentation to see the PowerPoint as a PDF file.

Dr. Barakat Mahmoud (MSU-ES): Overview of the Revised FSMA Rule on Produce Safety Standards

Dr. Tim Rinehart (USDA-ARS, Poplarville): An Update on Rabbiteye Blueberry Genomics

Aaron Rodgers (Mississippi Dept. of Agriculture and Commerce): Mechanical Harvesters vs. Hand Labor: Examining the Economic Decision-making of Blueberry Harvests (PDF not available)

Dr. Eric Stafne (MSU-ES): Scale-neutral Harvest-aid System and Sensor Technologies to Improve Efficiency and Handling of Fresh-market Highbush Blueberries

Dr. Barbara Smith (USDA-ARS, Poplarville): Blueberry Disease Control Recommendations

Dr. John Adamczyk (USDA-ARS Poplarville): Pollinators and You in our Blueberries: Are We Taking It For Granted?

Dr. Blair Sampson (USDA-ARS, Poplarville): SWD in Mississippi Blueberries

Overall there were roughly 50 attendees.  Evaluation data indicated that the crowd was pleased with the topics.  Some even suggested topics for next time, which is always welcome.  Below are a couple photos of the event.

Dr. Mahmoud covering the upcoming FSMA regulations

Dr. Mahmoud covering the upcoming FSMA regulations

Dr. Rinehart covering an exciting new topic -- Rabbiteye genomics

Dr. Rinehart covering an exciting new topic — Rabbiteye genomics

If you were not able to attend this year’s event, please plan to make it next year.  It will likely be around the same time and place.  If you have any requests for topics or speaks please let me know and I will do all that I can to accommodate it.  Thanks for a great turnout!

I also “Live Tweeted” the workshop.  Those tweets generated 1015 impressions (how many people saw the tweet in their timeline) and 66 engagements (how many people clicked on the tweet).  That is a 6.5% engagement rate from those who did not even attend!

If you want to follow me on Twitter, my handle is @EStafne

I try to tweet other events as well and general information related to fruit crops.

 

2015 Mississippi Blueberry Education Workshop

The 2015 Mississippi Blueberry Education Workshop will take place February 12, 2015 from 1-5pm at the MSU Forrest County Extension office in Hattiesburg, MS.  Mississippi State University Extension Service, in conjunction with the USDA-ARS and the Gulf South Blueberry Growers Association, will once again host an educational workshop focused on blueberry production in Mississippi. This year the topics will include Spotted Wing Drosophila, Disease issues, Blueberry breeding, Pollination and pollinators, Mechanized harvest technology and economics, and the Food Safety Modernization Act. Please come learn about these important topics.
Cost: $10, at the door will be collected by the Gulf South Blueberry Growers Association to help in future workshops.

Get the full schedule of speakers and other information by downloading the pdf file below:

Blueberry Workshop 2015

NABREW: Exo and SWD Info Nuggets

The 2014 North American Blueberry Research and Extension Workers (NABREW) conference was held in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  This conference is held every 4 years and this was the first one I attended.  It was highly informative with great presentations on blueberry viruses, genetics and genomics, insect pests, blueberry culture, blueberry pollinators, blueberry breeding, history, weed management, phenology prediction, fungal pests, and Extension.  I was very interested in the sections on pest management because of the issues we are having with Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) and Exobasidium.  Luckily, some of the national experts on these pests were in attendance.  Below are some nuggets of information I gleaned from the presentations:

SWD

-Crop losses have been variable in North Carolina, with 2% reported in 2013 and most occurring during Rabbiteye season

-Georgia reported 15% loss in 2012

-Fly captures within a field are not necessarily indicative of fruit infestation

-Sprays need to be applied frequently, probably in less than 7 day intervals

-Other pests like scale and whiteflies are becoming more of a problem due to the sprays used to control SWD

-Pyganic (organic spray) has not been effective in New Jersey or other states

-Entrust (organic spray) is effective

-Weed barrier fabric has been shown to suppress populations in Florida vs. pine bark mulch

-SWD comes in from wild hosts like blackberry and dewberry

-Trap bait with Yeast + Sugar + Water is effective but needs to be changed every week

-SWD prefers raspberry and strawberry to blueberry

-After a rain event, Mustang Max still had some activity, but Malathion not much

-Delegate and Mustang Max may kill eggs and larvae (especially young larvae) within 2 days of application based on research from Michigan

EXOBASIDIUM

-Leaf infections worse in lower part of bush and fruit infections worse in interior of bush

-Disease does not appear to be systemic

-Disease prefers areas with high humidity and poor air circulation

-A single lime sulfur spray at 1 week before green tip was very effective in controlling the disease in Georgia

-Early season applications (begin late February) of Captan and Indar worked well too, but more applications needed

-Resistance to Pristine has been seen in Georgia

 

The NABREW attendees in New Jersey at the P.E. Marucci Center for Blueberry & Cranberry Research & Extension in Chatsworth.

The NABREW attendees in New Jersey at the P.E. Marucci Center for Blueberry & Cranberry Research & Extension in Chatsworth.

2014 Blueberry Workshop Presentation — SWD Update

The dreaded Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) is drawing a lot of interest from blueberry growers in Mississippi.  Some growers have had serious issues with it, but others have not yet been impacted.  It is only a matter of time until everyone feels at least some of its wrath.  This insect can be devastating to soft-fruited crops like blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.  Control of this pest takes a true integrated pest management approach, with trapping, identification, and spraying all part of the equation.  Last year (2013) we had some good talks on SWD from Dr. Oscar Liburd, Dr. Blake Layton, and Dr. Blair Sampson (which can be found here:)

https://msfruitextension.wordpress.com/category/blueberries/2013-emerging-pest-workshop/

This year, Dr. Sampson was back and talked about the progress that has been made in combating this pest, as well as what we have learned about it in Mississippi this past year.  For his presentation click on the link below:

2014 Update on Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) in Mississippi

Dr. Blair Sampson answering questions on SWD.

Dr. Blair Sampson answering questions on SWD.

Mississippi Vaccinium Journal Jan-Mar 2014

The latest issue of the Mississippi Vaccinium Journal is now available.  It is below as a pdf.  Remember, you can always access past issues here:
In this issue we discuss SWD, new blueberry breeding efforts, as well as the agenda and registration form for the upcoming Blueberry workshop in Hattiesburg on February 13.  Please plan to attend this important workshop. Read more details on it in the newsletter.
If you have any questions or comments please let me know.