Talk of the Towns 8/11/17

Producer/Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Engineer: Amy Browne

Blueberries for Maine

Key Discussion Points:
Some history blueberry industry in Maine
Why does Maine grow great low-bush blueberries? How did the industry start?
Changes in how berries are grown… how fields are managed over time?
Harvesting methods over time… including introduction of migrant workers
Getting berries to market – canning, frozen, fresh pack, etc.
How did the industry develop… big growers-small growers
What is Cooperative Extension’s historical role (research and extension)
Current profile
Recent trends in how berries are managed, harvests, markets, technology?
What has happened in the last few years to supply, price, markets, industry
structure?
Current problems and opportunities?
What are some of the current UM/industry research projects, and what
questions/problems/opportunities are they addressing?
(role of integrated pest management, water quality, irrigation, etc)
What is the niche for organic berries?
Profiles of Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Blue Hill Berry Company and Highland
Organics and their connection to growing organic berries, markets, etc.

Guests:
David Yarborough, Blueberry Specialist, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Melissa Lee, Regional steward, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Lubec
Theresa Gafney, Highland Organics, Stockton Springs

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