Eric T. Stafne, Extension and Research Professor, Mississippi State University

The Mississippi State University Extension Service will be hosting two workshops for blueberry growers in 2023 — an in-person workshop in Hattiesburg., Mississippi and a virtual workshop.

  • In-person workshop will be held January 24 from 1:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Virtual workshop will be January 26 from 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Virtual Blueberry Workshop – January 26, 2023

Amanda Davis
Senior Faculty Research Assistant II—Berry Crops, North Willamette Research & Extension Center, Oregon State University
Splitting in blueberries: what do we know and what can we do?
Blueberry splitting can be a major production problem for growers. We will review some of the causes, what we know and don’t know about splitting, and outcomes of a research study conducted in Oregon that aimed to reduce splitting and improve fruit quality using a commercial biofilm product.
Dr. Sushan Ru
Assistant Professor of Small Fruit Breeding and Genetics, Department of Horticulture, Auburn University
Blueberry breeding in Alabama – update on breeding, blueberry stem blight, and yield prediction
I will present the status of the blueberry breeding program at Auburn University. Specifically, I will talk about breeding targets, germplasm collection, and ongoing research projects. Preliminary results on blueberry stem blight screening and high-throughput yield prediction will also be presented.
Dr. Joshua VanderWeide
Assistant Professor, Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University
Effects of Plant Growth Regulators on Blueberry Ripening Rate and Fruit Quality
Fresh blueberry pricing is determined by market demand at a particular harvest date. In Michigan, a significantly earlier harvest would increase the market price of late-season fruit before imported berries arrive. Two popular varieties were subjected to treatments using plant growth regulators (PGRs) involved in the endogenous ripening process with the goal of advancing maturity compared to an untreated control treatment. Aggregate berry samples collected during ripening were evaluated for individual weight, diameter, firmness, total soluble solids, pH, and titratable acidity. Additionally, individual berries were also collected at harvest maturity to evaluate the uniformity of individual berry weight, firmness, and total soluble solids. The impact of these PGRs on blueberry ripening rate and fruit quality will be discussed. Future evaluations will include the quantification of anthocyanins and aroma volatiles in both cultivars.
Dr. Zilfina Rubio Ames
Assistant Professor & Small Fruit Extension Specialist, University of Georgia, Tifton Campus
Is Sap Analysis a New Tool to Determine Plant Nutrient Status?
Recently producers had added sap analysis to their routine soil and leaf samples. Sap analysis are generally performed at overseas laboratories, which provide growers with minimal guidance on how to interpret the results or relate them to soil or leaf sample analysis. Educating growers on how to interpret sap analysis to adjust fertilization management practices can help growers to better manage fertilization, reduce production cost, and increase fertilizer use efficiency.

Mississippi Blueberry Education Workshop (in-person)January 24, 2023

Dr. Guihong Bi
Mississippi State University
Containerized production in high tunnels
Dr. Blair Sampson
USDA-ARS Poplarville
The latest on SWD and pollination
Dr. Michael Goblirsch
USDA-ARS Poplarville
Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to develop a monitoring tool of honey bee visitation of southern highbush and rabbiteye blueberry in real-time
Dr. Stephen Stringer
USDA-ARS Poplarville
‘USDA-Spiers’ rabbiteye blueberry
Dr. Eric Stafne
Mississippi State University
Drought tolerance in blueberry
Davis Edwards
Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce
What you need to know about inspections

Want more information?

If you are interested in attending either of these workshops, please contact Eric Stafne. Registration details will be released closer to the event time.

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