A BerrySmart Update With Steve Mantle

In this episode of “The Business of Blueberries,” host Kasey Cronquist, president of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) and the North American Blueberry Council (NABC), is joined again by Steve Mantle of Innov8 Ag and the BerrySmartProject. We previously heard from Mantle in episodes 44, 100 and 133. He joins us in this episode to share the latest details on the BerrySmart project, his insights on harvest automation and what the future holds for his work with blueberries.

“The focus really was to bring together the growers, the researchers and the tech providers to help with optimizing blueberry farming operations, with a focus on soils, nutrients, yield, distribution, weather, chemicals, nutrients and, all importantly, labor. … And, so, weaving that together is the journey.” – Steve Mantle

 Topics covered include: 

  • The latest and greatest on the BerrySmartProject and the benefits it’s providing to blueberry producers industrywide. 
  • Advances in leaf sampling for evaluating the health, nutrients and mineral availability present in both new and old plant growth.
  • Mantle’s insights on harvest innovations.

Crop Report

The Blueberry Crop Report is an update on crop conditions and markets throughout important blueberry growing areas. Today you’ll hear from Brittany Lee in Florida, Derrin Wheeler in Georgia, Jody McPherson in North Carolina, TJ Hafner in Oregon, Alan Schreiber in Washington, Elise Oliver in California, and Brody Schropp in Michigan. This was recorded on May 16, 2024.