Wild Blueberry Newsletter, July 2019

Wild Blueberry Newsletter header graphic, text and a photo of blueberries and leaves

July 2019

What a Spring!

After a long, cool, and wet April – June, we have arrived in July with green fruit developing. I’ve been busy building my team and setting up research and Extension trials around the State’s wild blueberry growing region. Come hear what we’re working on at this year’s Maine Wild Blueberry Field Day in Jonesboro on July 17! This year’s field day will begin at 10:00 am with a morning research tour around the farm followed by local grilled sausage, veggies and ice cream for lunch. In the afternoon, we will hold three breakout sessions on drone technology/climate change, NRCS pollinator programs, and interactive weed identification.

Growers inspecting sprayer nozzles
Growers inspecting sprayer nozzles

Observations from the Field
Early on this spring a normal to high amount of winterkill was observed in the Downeast region while fields in Mid-coast observed less winterkill, which I understand is a typical pattern. However, there were a few fields in southern Maine that
experienced extreme winterkill due to desiccating winter winds that followed several seasons of drought conditions. Farms that needed to prune this spring had a very hard time fitting it in between rain events. Therefore, some prune fields currently lag behind.

On the topic of pollination, we waited and waited… then waited some more for good pollination weather. Time will tell if adequate pollination was achieved in fields, but the general consensus is that there were hours of good pollination weather before peak bloom and then 3-4 days of sunny 60+ degree days during peak bloom.

Weather Tools Survey (only six questions).
In an effort to understand what your weather tool needs are, Lily has a new grant from the Mitchell Center for Sustainable Solutions. If you do not fill out this survey, we will not know what you need! Take the survey!

Field Workshops are Wrapping Up
Hopefully, we’ve seen you at one of our Extension field days. If not, you have a few more chances!

Maine Wild Blueberries in the News!

New York Times
From Apples to Popcorn, Climate Change Is Altering the Foods America Grows

UMaine Today
A Wild Story

Equipment and Land Exchange page! Don’t forget, there are new items posted for sale online.


Lily Calderwood signature



Extension Blueberry Specialist
University of Maine, Orono