Blueberries
Updated: May 3, 2021
By Dr. Joseph Fiola

A variety of information on commercial blueberry production including organic production, pest and weed management, frost and freeze prevention, and more.

Commercial Production Guides

  • Highbush Blueberry Production Guide, NARES-55 (pdf)  (ePub)
    Pritts, Marvin P.; Hancock, James F.; Strik, Bernadine; Eames-Sheavly, Marcia; Celentano, Dana

    Blueberries, native to North America, have become increasingly popular with growers and consumers throughout the world. This book is the first comprehensive resource for blueberry growers and the advisers who assist them. Written by 29 experts from across the country, it covers all aspects of blueberry production including site selection and preparation, plant selection, blueberry growth and development, maintenance, pest management, harvesting, and marketing. Topics that other fruit-production guides rarely address, such as nuisance wildlife management, water management, spray technology, and budgeting, are discussed as well. The guide features 168 full-color photos, 27 tables, 24 figures and charts, and a key to problems. (1992) (PALS formerly NRAES) Now available as a free download.
     
  • The Mid-Atlantic Berry Guide for Commercial Growers
    This guide is produced by Penn State in cooperation with Rutgers University, the University of Delaware, the University of Maryland, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia University.

    (2013-2014)  provides general information on preplant considerations, soil management and nutrition, and pest management, as well as specific information for planting strawberries, blueberries, brambles, gooseberries, and currants. Appendixes provide information on expanded special topics, diagnostic services, nursery sources of berry plants, and production supplies and services. Additional sources of information are also given.

Commercial Storage and Produce Safety

Commercial Storage

  • The Commercial Storage of Fruits, Vegetables, and Florist and Nursery Stocks (Handbook # 66, Revised Feb. 2016)
    Edited by Kenneth C. Gross, Chien Yi Wang, and Mikal Saltveit. Gross and Wang are formerly with the Food Quality Laboratory, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD. They are now retired. Saltveit is with the Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA.

    Agriculture Handbook 66 (AH-66) represents a complete revision and major expansion of the 1986 edition. It has been reorganized and now includes 17 Chapters and 138 Commodity Summaries written by nearly a hundred experts in plant science and postharvest technology. This version, like the previous editions of AH- 66 in 1954, 1968, 1977, and 1986, presents summaries of current storage requirements of fresh fruits, vegetables, cut flowers, and other horticultural crops. However, this highly expanded version also includes information on quality characteristics, maturity indices, grading, packaging, precooling, retail display, chilling sensitivity, ethylene production and sensitivity, respiration rates, physiological disorders, postharvest pathology, quarantine issues, and suitability as a fresh-cut product. A large number of fruits and vegetables were added, as well as sections on food safety, nutritional quality, texture, and fresh-cut produce. The purpose of storing plant material is to lengthen the time it can be consumed or utilized. In doing so, it is critical to provide an environment that minimizes deterioration, maintains microbial safety, and retains other quality attributes. AH-66 provides guidelines and other important information for storing and handling horticultural commodities to accomplish this.

Produce Safety

Pest, Disease, and Weed Management

Spray Programs or Pest Advisory

  • Spray Program for Multi-Small Fruit Plantings
    R. David Myers, University of Maryland Extension

    Multi-Small Fruit Spray Program (updated yearly) for the control of major small fruit (Strawberries, Brambles, Blackberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Grapes Pest and Disease.) 

     
  • IPM Net
    IPMnet is an online resource for commercial ornamental plant production and maintenance with an emphasis on using an integrated pest management approach. We primarily work with nursery growers, landscapers, greenhouse growers, cut flower growers, IPM scouts, and arborists.
     
  • Maryland Fruit & Vegetable Blog
    Provides readers with current information on fruits and vegetables, disease and pest updates, and much more.
     
  • Plant & Pest Advisory
    Rutgers Cooperative Extension

    Provides seasonal updates focusing on insects, diseases, and weeds of importance to NJ Commercial Growers.

Pests

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

  • Stop BMSB
    Collaborators: USDA/NIFA - Specialty Crop Research Initiative, USDA -Ag Research Services, Rutgers, Penn State, Virginia Tech, University of Delaware, University of Maryland, Northeastern IPM Center, Washington State University, Cornell University, Organ State University, and North Carolina State University.

    Stop BMSB Web Site is bringing its latest findings to growers in North America. A group of 50 researchers from 10 institutions across the United States is solving the mysteries of this pest that damages a huge range of fruit, vegetable, and ornamental crops. You will find a photo identification guide and recommendations for how to control it.

Spotted Wing Drosophila

Spotted Lanternfly

  • Spotted Lanternfly
    Peter Coffey, University of Maryland Extension

    The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is a new invasive pest insect in the Mid-Atlantic. It has the potential to be an important pest on several important crops. It has been detected in several states that border Maryland but has not yet been detected in Maryland. This publication highlights identification, biology, and what the Maryland public should do if they find a spotted lanternfly.

Weed

Blueberry Production Methods

Organic

  • Blueberries: Organic Production
    By George L. Kuepper and Steve Diver; Revised 2001 by Katherine Adam; Revised 2004 by Martin Guerena and Preston Sullivan NCAT Agriculture Specialists ©2004 NCAT

    This production guide addresses key aspects of organic blueberry production, including soils and fertility, cultural considerations, pests, and diseases, as well as marketing. Additional resources are provided for further investigation.

Tunnel Production

  • Tunnel Production
    Cornell Fruit Resources: Berries

    This site features information for growers and educators on all types of protected culture for strawberries and brambles.

Websites

  • Blueberries
    eXtension

    Information on Blueberry production and diseases - eXtension and interactive learning environment delivering the best, most researched knowledge from the smartest land-grant university minds across America.
     
  • Blueberries
    Michigan State University (MSU) Extension

    Topics on the website consist of horticulture, pest management, and other resources. Developed by The MSU Blueberry Team which is composed of MSU faculty, MSU Extension Educators, and blueberry growers.
     
  • Fruit
    Penn State Extension

    Web pages on Production & Harvesting, Cultivars & Rootstocks, Soil Fertility & Management, Pest & Diseases, Weed Management, Organic Production, Sustainable Agriculture, Personal Safety, and Business Management.
     
  • Ready to Take Root-Getting Started with Small Fruit & Hops
    The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC) and the University of Maryland Extension (UME) partnered in 2018 and 2019 to offer a series of workshops on everything you need to know to grow, sell and market small fruits and hops in the Southern Maryland region and throughout the state of Maryland. The workshop series and resource portal was made possible in part by a Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund Grant (RMPIF) and the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
     
  • Blueberry Production
    Cornell Fruit Resources: Berries
    Cornell University

     

Useful Links

University of Maryland Research Laboratories

  • Hamby Lab
    Dr. Kelly Hamby
    Associate Professor/Extension Specialist

Organizations

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