Bees, Bots and Blueberries in the BerrySmart Blueberry Fields

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 by Steve Mantle founder of Innov8 Ag, and USHBC/NABC Vice President of Engagement and Education Amanda Griffin to discuss the BerrySmart Field Project. Mantle introduced the BerrySmart Field Project in episode 100 and returns to let us know how the first year went and what to expect this year.

“The BerrySmart field is this collaborative effort between growers, researchers and tech providers to optimize blueberry farming operations. We are just in the beginning phase of this, and I’m very excited to see how it grows and to hear from Steve today on where that first year went. A couple of the things that we hope to work on and focus on are soil, the nutrients, yield distribution, weather, chemicals and of course labor.” – Amanda Griffin

 Topics covered include:

  • Why the industry is investing in the BerrySmart Project.
  • A full update on the project and what the future holds for the overall program.
  • A review of the project’s purpose, progress made and how the data being collected can influence future practices.

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, Mario Ramirez in Mexico, Eric Stafne reporting for Louisiana and Mississippi, Luis Vegas in Peru and Elise Oliver in California. This was recorded on April 19, 2023.