Wild Blueberry Newsletter March 2021
Dear Growers and Processors,
Can you believe we’re already half way through March? While it would have been nice to see you all in-person, the Virtual UMaine Wild Blueberry Conference Series has gone quite well. If you missed a session, we are slowly uploading the recordings for you to watch, 2021 Wild Blueberry Conference Series Videos. We hope you are enjoying your copy of this year’s Wild Blueberry Research and Extension Reports. Electronic versions of the reports are available, 2020 Research Reports. (password: Grower).
As April approaches make sure you’re ready for pollination and mummy berry season. Pollination is not something to skimp on so check out our list of commercial pollinators.
We will be updating the Real-Time Phenology Tracker again this year so keep an eye out for F2 in your location. Seanna’s AgriNet (password: Grower) now includes growing degree days, a frost indicator, and as always the mummy berry infection report.
We will be able to host in-person field days this season! Stay tuned for a schedule and protocol. For your calendar, the Blueberry Hill Farm Field Day will be on July 8 and 9 in order to have less than 50 people each day.
State of the Industry Survey
You have until March 31 to complete this year’s big survey that will inform research and education to come. It is critical that as many people fill out this survey as possible. There will be a second $100 Home Depot gift card drawing once the survey closes. Anyone interested in adding the ability to sell your products through your website should complete the survey answering “Yes” to the information technology question. This will automatically add you to a list to follow-up with about a FREE opportunity to set up an account with Local Food Marketplace. Funded by DACF and the Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine.
Bulk Order Opportunity: Fresh Pack Harvest Bins
If anyone is interested in joining a group order for harvest totes that have two dividers, are light weight and great for fresh pack, please email Lauren: email@example.com for more info/ to be added to the group order list. If you are interested in totes, please fill out this GOOGLEFORM by March 19!
Board of Pesticide Control Update: 2021 Non-Agricultural Notification Registry
The 2021 Non-Agricultural Pesticide Registry is available from the Board of Pesticides Control (BPC), 2021 Pesticide Notification Registry (PDF).
When using the PDF file, please note that it is arranged in alphabetical order by town or city and then by ID number of the individuals on the registry. Under each registrant, the abutting property owners are listed alphabetically by last name. Please focus on the address of the listed abutters when determining whether you need to notify a registrant, because the property owner is not always the occupant. Consequently, the name of your customer may not appear on the list of abutters, but the address of your customer will be listed when notification is necessary. Each year the BPC receives complaints against companies who fail to notify addresses listed on the registry. This results in a fine for the spray contracting firm. Please be aware of all addresses associated with the Notification Registry in the area where you conduct work.
Grant Opportunity: USDA Rural Development Grants
The United States Department of Agriculture announced that it is making an additional $35 million available this year in the Value-Added Producer Grant Program to support agricultural producers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding is made possible through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. In total, $76 million is available. Applications are due May 4, 2021.
- Read the stakeholder announcement (PDF).
- Access the Value-Added Producer Grant Program.
- If you have questions, contact your USDA Rural Development office.
March 23, 2021 9:00 A.M. –11:00 A.M. Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine Video Conference/Conference Call Meeting
Join by video conference (preferred):
Join the meeting by conference call (optional), please dial: 301.715.8592
Meeting ID: 881 4684 7314
March 23, 2021 11:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. Soil Moisture Monitoring Workshop
- Background on soil water concepts (10 min)
- Monitoring equipment basics (10 min)
- Observations from on-farm monitoring (10 min)
- 30 min discussion and Q&A
Join by video conference:
Join by Telephone:
Meeting ID: 814 1777 1383
Assistant Apiary Inspector, Summer Field Assistant
Deadline for application: Wednesday March 24, 2021
How to Apply: Please send a cover letter, resume, and contact information and three references by Wednesday, March 24, 2021 to: Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org.