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Blue Berries Orchard Management

Wild Blue Berries
Orchard Management

High Bush Berries
Orchard Management

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Activities year around on wild Blue Berry Orchards

Pruning

Spray program

Diseases Control & Insects

Harvesting

Storage & Marketing of Blue Berries

Orchard land cleaning by removal of stumps, dead trees and rocks removal for Blue berry plant can grow faster.

Activities on Blue Berry orchards

Management of existing fields, is an on-going operation involving weed control, pest control, pruning by mechanical methods or burning, ensuring pollination of the crop and timely application of fertilizer, setting up spray program, harvesting and storage of fruit. Wild blue berries orchards doesn’t have defined life span, once established, a blue berry orchard could continue to produce excellent fruit indefinitely if properly managed.

Storage & Marketing

The crop is shipped to processing and a grower will obtain plastic tubs from the buyer prior to harvest. The berry is stored in cold storages for further processing of IQF ( INDIVIDUALLY QUICK FREEZING).The harvested crop is placed into the tubs and transported to one of the local receiving stations for locale sale.. The receiving station will then transport the fruit to a processing plant. Proper record keeping is kept for the produced Berries and Canada Gap standards are followed for production. Fruits Canada is the company which is certified by Canada Gap.

Cleaning of Blue Berry orchard

For the blue berry plant to grow faster, it requires removal of any extra bushes or small trees, stumps and rocks on the blue berry orchard. Also construction of access dirt roads and and specialized weed-control methods such as wiping or basal treatment of brush. In some cases, land levelling to accommodate farm machinery may be required. This activity is important for the growth for blue berry plant to grow naturally and faster. During this period, the blueberry grower’s team must actively involve into development in winter season if the key to bring the orchard to maximum production.

Orchard Machinery Repair & Maintenance

For the blue berry plant to grow faster, it requires removal of any extra bushes or small trees, stumps and rocks on the blue berry orchard. Also construction of access dirt roads and and specialized weed-control methods such as wiping or basal treatment of brush. In some cases, land levelling to accommodate farm machinery may be required. This activity is important for the growth for blue berry plant to grow naturally and faster. During this period, the blueberry grower’s team must actively involve into development in winter season if the key to bring the orchard to maximum production.

Spray program

Spray Program and Fertilization of plants: In early spring, after the fields have been pruned, a single application of a herbicide is required. Additional spot treatments of herbicide are sometimes required to control persistent weeds such as bayberry. Weed control is not only important in maximizing yields, but encourages spreading of the blue- berry clones and enables the crop to be har- vested by machine. During the growing season, monitoring must .

Pruning

Pruning is required to increase flower and fruit formation. Pruning can be carried out either by flail mowing or by burning. Although mowing is less expensive than burning, burning plays a useful role in reducing populations of injurious pests. However the type of pruning is less common in modern blueberry productions.

Harvesting

There are two methods of harvesting wild blueberries – hand harvesting using a metal rake or machine harvesting. The crop is harvested between August and September of any year.

A number of different machine harvesters are available. The most common harvester used is the Braggs Blueberry Harvester. The harvester is mounted on a two or four-wheel drive tractor.

It is normally operated with one tractor operator and one other worker who rides on the back of the tractor, inspecting berries and providing fresh boxes for the berries dropping from the conveyer belt. A thirty-five horsepower tractor will provide ample power for the harvester. Power is delivered to the harvester from the tractor, which drives the motor of a self-contained hydraulic system.

Blueberries are stripped from the bushes with a one-metre wide harvesting head. Because the head is narrower than the tractor and offset, it is necessary that all harvesting take place in the same direction. This requires the tractor to circle back after each pass to begin the next harvesting strip or to harvest the field in a circular fashion. The harvester performs best on level ground, free of weeds and rocks.

Production requirements for fresh product require a more stringent control of the blueberry maggot as compared to fruit destined for processing. The Blueberry maggot, a common pest which reduces fruit quality, is not found in all areas of Canada. Federal regulations restrict the movement of fresh berries to prevent the spread of this pest. Recent changes to the Import and Domestic Plant Quarantine Regulations require that fresh blueberries may be only moved from all infested areas to non-infested areas if they are inspected and found to have no maggots. Under the current regulations, Prince Edward Island is considered an infested area.

Diseases Control & Insects

In the crop year the flower buds open and come into bloom. To ensure good fruit set, pollination by insects is required. Most of the Pollination is carried out by commercial honeybee colonies. Growers often supplement their pollination requirements with leaf cutter bees, bumble bees and native pollinators. As in the non-cropping year the fields must be monitored for diseases and insects and control measures carried out if required.

Yearly Cycle For Activities for wild Blue Berry Orchards

Organic fruit orchard. A woman examining a row of blueberry shrubs.

The key activities on fully planted farm during this trimester include weed control, pest control, pollination, spray program for blight, scab etc, application of fertilizer, application of herbicide and/or its spot treatment to control such as bayberry, scouting in all aspects, specialized weed control such as wiping or basal treatment, land leveling or brushing in developing farm, paving access road in developing farm.

Picking blueberries, young at heart.

Manual Weed picking post spray program, Fresh spray program treating files and maggot.

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Harvesting, Storing And Delivery Of Fruits To Processers and Market.

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Pruning of Blue Berry, prepare schedules to commence operations for cleaning orchards as post harvest operation. Developing dirt roads for the next season for the movement of machinery in orchard.

Blueberry

Clearing orchard of undesirables and preparing the orchard for wild Blue Berry plant to spread naturally to its optimum growth scope of clearing and preparation is not limited to cutting and clearing stumps, removing dead trees or rocks to make space for machinery to move in the fields. Brush cutting, Preparation of soil for new Blueberry plants.

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C Since wild Blue Berry involves machinery, it becomes vital to engage and train staff to maintain the farm machinery time to time. To have farm equipment and machinery in good condition is a year round job. It affects the productivity of farm if the farm machinery and equipment are not managed and maintained.

 

Land Development & Planation of High Blue Berry Plants

As High Bush Blueberry plants thrive in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade; however, the fruit production can be less if they are in partial shade. They require acidic, well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter and a soil pH that is between 4.2 and 5.0.& province of Prince Edward island has naturally acidic soil, although the pH level should be tested every 1-2 seasons. Peat moss (a slightly acidic soil amendment) can be added to soil, as well as compost and manure as organic matter.

When choosing blueberry plants, ensure you have a minimum of 2 different varieties to cross-pollinate as this will give you optimum crop yields. Choosing varieties with different maturity dates will lengthen your harvest period ensuring fresh, tasty blueberries all season long.

Fruits Canada high Bush Blueberry Orchards shall be plant ensure each plant spaced at least 1-1.5 m apart. Blueberry plants have shallow root systems, so be aware of this when handling the plants while transplanting: damaging the roots can provide growth set-backs or the loss of the plant. The plants should be kept uniformly watered throughout the growing season. Mulching will help conserve water, as well as controlling fluctuations of moisture. During dry spells plants should be kept well-watered.

Fertilizing

Pruning

Fertilizing

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Since blueberries are acidic loving plants you can fertilize with an ammonium sulphate fertilizer to help keep the pH low. They should be fertilized three times in a growing season. The first fertilization should be done in the spring, just prior to bud break; the second should be after petal fall; the third should be in early July. Older bushes should have most of the fertilizer around the outer spread of branches.

Pruning

For the first 2-3 years, Blue Berry plants a careful pruning. While this is important, it is also imperative to remove any damaged, diseased or dead growth, as well as spindly growth, as it will encourage an upright and vigorous growth habit. After blueberry plants are established, annual pruning will help invigorate and improve the health and yield of the plants. In 5th year, high-bush blueberry stems shall become typically no longer productive; pruning 5 year old stems and weak branches, as well as thinning out crowded spots after the initial growth period, promotes healthier growth and a higher fruit yield. 

Plants should be pruned when they are dormant, so it is important to find the right time to prune: typically in Atlantic Canada this is February to April. Once a blueberry bush has been pruned, it will stimulate new growth; if this is done too early, it can cause damage. After the winter, remove all the extra sprouts and let the healthiest ones go. Pruning out the older canes allows the new shoots to be more productive and take over.

The fruit develops on one-year-old Plant. In the first 3 years the fruit buds should be cut back to encourage the growth of the blueberry plant, ensuring the best possible yields for the future.

When pruning a blueberry bush it is necessary to keep in mind the optimal shape for the plant. They are tight at the bottom with an open and spreading centre. Removing some of the canes and cutting back in the centre will help the plant develop into the right shape, preventing the interior of the plant from becoming too dense with leaves.

High Bush Blueberry Plant Varieties at Fruits Canada Orchards

Jersey

A late mid-season berry. The fruit is medium sized, has medium scar, fair colour and flavour, and is firm. The bush is very vigorous and productive. The clusters are long and loose. Grows 1.8-2.1m (6-7') tall.

Bluejay

A mid-season berry. The fruit is medium sized with long stems that aid in mechanical harvesting. The bush is vigorous and upright. Grows 1.5-2.1m (5-7') tall.

Bluecrop

This mid-season producer is one of the most widely grown varieties. Medium to large size fruits, light blue colour, small scar, firm with good, tart flavour. The berries are resistant to cracking. Will grow 1.2-1.8m (4-6') tall.

Duke

An early variety, with striking autumn foliage of yellow and orange. The berries are of medium size, firm, and light blue. The flavor is mild, but becomes more aromatic after several hours in the fridge; perfect in a fruit salad. The bush is vigorous, with stocky canes, but is well branched. Typically grows 1.2-1.5m (4-5') tall.

Northland

Produces fruit early mid-season. Fruit size is small, dark blue, and has a wild-berry flavor. It has limber branches which do not break under heavy snow loads and adapts well to a sub-zero climate. This variety is self-pollinating. Grows 0.9-1.2m (3-4') tall.


Activity YEARLY Cycle for High Bush Blue Berries

Land Preparation, Planation & Pruning , Fertilization & spray program, Harvest, shortage & Marketing Of Blue Berries

Organic fruit orchard. A woman examining a row of blueberry shrubs.

Before planation activities like soil sample, clearing of land for plant blueberry bushes is usually done in early spring. Planation must be completed before end of April , make a note as plants arrive, they have to be planted immediately. If you cannot plant immediately, keep plants cool, in refrigerator or cool place. Following activities are done in these months:

  • 1. Land Preparation for planation after soil samples, Unpack and Soak: Unpack your blueberry bush and soak in water for 3 to 6 hours just before planting, Cut Broken Roots, Digging of Hole(s): The width of the hole should allow you to spread roots. If you are planting multiple blueberries, dig holes 4′-6′ apart. If you are creating several rows dig holes 7′-12′ apart, Spread Roots in Hole, Shovel Dirt Back in Hole and Add Amend Soil, Water: Give each plant 1″-2″ of water.
  • 2. Pruning of Plants: Pruning plays very important role in production of quality produce. Careful pruning is required in year One of planation. When the bushes are mature after second years, remove older central canes and prune inward pointing laterals back to the main cane. Good Pruning can be done when Plant is dormant in late winter (preferably January or early spring).

Planation activity Must finish By April end.

Picking blueberries, young at heart.

In this time period watering plants, Weed control, Spray Program, Fertilization of plants, Protecting Blueberries from Birds. All these activates are performed in these months. As plants are very sensitive and day to day operations are must for these activities on Blue berries plants. Specially in first 3 Years of planation.

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PICKING OF BLUE BERRIES High bush Blueberries usually are harvested in mid-season. While picking blueberries one should be careful Blueberries taste sweeter if left hanging on the bush to fully ripen. Ussally3-7 days after the berries turn completely blue all the way around for maximum sweetness. The stem should be blue not green or red, berry skin dull looking, and the berry detaches easily. Usually careful spot picking is done if need be. Good quality fruit is picked with manual picking.

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Shortage & marketing : Blueberries must be Refrigerated in a shallow container or freeze right after harvest. Refrigerated blueberries are best when used within 3-5 days, but storage life can extend 12-20 days. After Refrigeration , packing of Blue must done for the marketing of blue as per the requirement of Buyer.