Blueberry Intensive Flyer

Blueberry Intensive Workshop

NYS Berry Growers Association

Blueberry Intensive Workshop


Blueberry Intensive Workshop

  • Tuesday, March 5, 2019, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

We’re partnering with the experts art Cornell CCE to bring you the region’s first-ever blueberry intensive, an in-depth look at blueberry growing techniques, pests and diseases, marketing and other business topics, and an afternoon demonstration on working farms. Mark your calendar for March 5 in Ellicottville in Cattaraugus County, and March 14 in Millbrook in Duchess County.

Here are the complete agendas for both workshops; scroll down to view full details.

Blueberry Intensive Workshop—Ellicottville

March 5, 2019

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cattaraugus County

28 Parkside Drive, Ellicottville, New York

Sign up here.

8:30–9:00 am: Registration—DEC credit sign-up

9:00–9:10 am: Welcome/introductionsEsther Kibbe, CCE Harvest NY and/or Laura McDermott, CCE ENYCHP

9:10–9:30 am: Considerations when choosing and prepping a site for blueberry production, Kathy Demchak, Berry Specialist, Pennsylvania State University
Site selection and preparation is one of the most important aspects in terms of long-term success, as it will impact overall plant growth, pest pressure, weed management, and fruit quality.

9:30–10:00 am: Blueberry diseases of noteDr. Kerik Cox, Plant Pathologist, Cornell University
Dr. Cox will outline the major diseases that blueberry growers in Western NY need to be aware of. He’ll discuss the most successful management strategies, including conventional fungicide programs and organically appropriate approaches.

10:00–10:30 am: Managing blueberry insect pestsDr. Dara Stockton, Entomology Research Assoc., Cornell University
Dr. Stockton will discuss major blueberry insect pests including cranberry and cherry fruit worm, blueberry maggot and Spotted Wing Drosophila. Pests like scale that may increasing due to more aggressive spray programs will also be discussed.

10:30–10:40 am: Break

10:40–11:10 am: Using the NEWA blueberry pest and disease models to your best advantage
Dr.Juliet Carroll, Fruit IPM Specialist, NYS IPM
Dr. Carroll will lead growers through a hands-on discussion of the NEWA pest models that will allow growers to better time and hopefully reduce sprays while still getting good control of pests.

11:10–11:30 am: Alternative options for markets
Cheryl Thayer, CCE Harvest NY
Farm to school, value added, nutraceuticals, organic wholesale—market options are plentiful for blueberries.

11:30 am–12:15 pm: Berry crops profitability tool—knowledge is power!Dr. Miguel Gomez, Agriculture Economist, Cornell

12:15–1:00 pm: Lunch (provided)

1:00–1:20 pm: Making it work at Duda’s Blues Berry FarmDavid Duda, owner, Duda’s Blues, Machias, NY

1:20–2:10 pm: Blueberry nutritionKathy Demchak, Berry Specialist, Pennsylvania State University
Feeding blueberries is an important and challenging aspect of blueberry culture. Acidity of soil and water plays a huge role, so a discussion about acidification will be part of the presentation. Plants in good vigor are much better at resisting insect and disease pests.

2:10–2:30 pm: Post-harvest handling—reducing pest damage and improving fruit quality
Laura McDermott, CCE ENYCHP
One method of preserving fruit quality in harvested berries that may have had pressure from SWD is immediate and adequate chilling. Growers need to understand the importance of removing field heat and how to do it quickly with forced air cooling. Modified atmosphere packaging will also be discussed along with helpful tools like a CoolBot.

2:30–3:00 pm: Pruning correctly throughout the life of the plantingDr. Marvin Pritts, Horticulture, Cornell University
Like nutrition, good cultural care is important for an overall vigorous and pest durable plant. Pruning is as the plant moves through its juvenile period so that will be described.

3:00–3:30 pm: Transition to field—Great Valley Berry Patch5608 Humphrey Rd., Great Valley, NY
Owner: Nadine Litchfield, 716-945-5221,

3:30–4:00 pm: Pest scouting and weed management discussionDr. Marvin Pritts, with help from Laura McDermott and Esther Kibbe
Examining existing blueberries in the early season is the first thing to do for pest control. Looking for scale, mummyberry apothecia, and gall’s while plants are just breaking dormancy is crucial. Weed populations will begin to be evident as well. Herbicides are often used in the early pre-bud break time period for best results. Adding mulch should be done in the spring.

4:00–4:30 pm: Pruning demonstrationDr. Marvin Pritts, with help from Laura McDermott and Esther Kibbe
This hands-on opportunity will provide continued discussion of the 2:30 afternoon session. We’ll address the differences in cultivars and pruning approaches, which will become more obvious as we look at plants. The use of a pneumatic pruner will be demonstrated, as well as more traditional tools.

4:30 pm: Workshop adjourns

Sign up for the Ellicottville workshop today!


$35 for current NYSBG asnd $45 for non-members

Learn More

To register:


Robin Catalano
Communications Manager of NYSBGA


28 Parkside Drive
Ellicottville, New York 14731