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EARI09-033: Optimizing blueberry productivity through pest forecasting and disease management

Applicant: Bleuets NB Blueberries

Project Lead: Michel Melanson

Project Year(s): 2009 -2010      Status: Complete

Funding Source: Canada/New Brunswick Growing Forward (Non-Business Risk Management Programs)

Funding Program: Enabling Agricultural Research and Innovation

Objective: Examine the use of conventional fungicides and timings within lowbush blueberry production in addition to innovative fungicides groups and timings to improve disease control and productivity of lowbush blueberry production in New Brunswick. Proposed areas of research include fungicide screening trials, evaluating disease levels, harvesting and evaluating shelf life of the harvested blueberries. Collect weather data from two regions using 10 weather stations to identify and develop possible forecasting models for botrytis blight and blueberry fruit fly. The data will be compared to existing forecasting model to validate the growing conditions in NB. Proposed regions included the major growing regions in the Northeast and in the Southwest. Additional data will be used to determine the emergence of other pest in the growing season.

Deliverables: Information gained through this research will be widely distributed to the New Brunswick blueberry industry through field days, workshops, meetings, factsheets and project reports. The development of this system will allow for a better use and timing of pest control products. New products are specific to pest and require accurate timing to have maximum efficiency of the product to control the pest. The weather data and forecasting information will be collected every weekly from each station.

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