Summary of Awards to Date

Systems approach to improving the sustainability of wild blueberry production.

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Date

Sep. 1, 2009 - Aug. 31, 2013

Award Number

ME02009-02548

Funding Agency

USDA - CSREES

Amount Awarded

$1,023,805.00

Investigator

Dave Yarborough, Ph.D.
University of Maine

Co-Investigator(s)

Annis, S., Drummond, F., Bushway, A., Camire, M., Wu, V., Mallory, E., Ohno, S., Samgula, J., and Criner, G.

Summary

The needs addressed in the proposal are to develop sustainable wild blueberry production systems that will provide ecological and economically based production into the future. The goal is to develop a suite of production systems that are tailored to the entire spectrum of growers: organic, low input, medium, and high input growers to sustain the entire industry with all its variation. Outreach plan will include regular publication of the Wild Blueberry Newsletter emailed or mailed to growers and available on the web. Educational grower field meetings to be held at research sites in Maine. Education Grower Meetings in other states with wild blueberry production. Develop Extension fact sheets for economic enterprise budgets, soil fertility and pest management, and food safety. Develop a blueberry production simulator for growers. Train growers on the use of partial budgets to make management decisions. Develop podcasts of extension bulletins for growers who prefer learning in an auditory mode. Evaluate the social changes that have occurred over time with the change in ownership patterns. Wild blueberry growers will benefit by having the resource based knowledge needed to remain competitive with cultivated and Canadian wild blueberry production. Research that contributes to ecologically and economically based blueberry production not only helps consumers and producers, but also the large proportion of the population that live in economically depressed Washington County, Maine who depend upon blueberry production directly and indirectly for their livelihood