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Early blueberries impacted by cold weather in January and February

Clint Thompson of the University of Georgia released a report today on damage to early blueberry varieties in Georgia which was published in Growing Georgia here.  Very cold temperatures contributed to damage in some areas that could total up to 50 percent of some varieties.  Producers used frost protection in the form of overhead sprinklers to help protect blueberries from the worst impacts of the freeze, but due to low humidities and very low temperatures were not able to provide complete coverage.  UGA blueberry specialists say that the next two weeks will be critical for later-blooming varieties and that frost damage from the earlier frost episodes could lead to problems with plant diseases in the coming months.

I will be speaking to the Georgia Blueberry Growers’ meeting on Thursday, March 19, in Waycross on weather variables that affect blueberries at their 11:30 am luncheon.

Blueberry frost damage.  Source:  USDA ARS

Blueberry frost damage. Source: USDA ARS