Establishment and Production Costs for Southern Highbush Blueberry Orchards in Florida: Enterprise Budget and Profitability Analysis

Blueberry field.

The United States is the world’s largest producer of blueberries. Florida’s blueberry production represents a small fraction of total US production, but blueberries are nevertheless an important and valuable crop in the state because Florida growers benefit from the nation’s earliest market window. In fact, the average price for blueberries received by growers in Florida during the last three years was 2.5 times the US average.

This 15-page fact sheet written by Ariel Singerman, Marina Burani-Arouca, Jeffrey G. Williamson, and Gary K. England, and published by the UF Department of Food and Resource Economics provides a summary of the enterprise budget developed for highbush blueberry production in Florida. The budget represents a typical operation and serves as an economic benchmark for growers, providing estimates of expenses and potential estimates of revenue and profit for a blueberry crop to help current and potential blueberry growers make informed decisions about blueberry production.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe1002

2016 Florida Blueberry Integrated Pest Management Guide

Cluster of blueberries.  Photo Credits:  UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones

This 37-page fact sheet provides extensive information about integrated pest management for growing blueberry plants in Florida. Writteny by Jeffrey G. Williamson, Philip F. Harmon, Oscar E. Liburd, and Peter Dittmar and published by the Horticultural Sciences Department.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs380

Southern Highbush Blueberry Cultivars from the University of Florida

Figure 1. A flock of cedar waxwings feeding on southern highbush blueberries Credit: Jeff WilliamsonMany improved southern highbush cultivars have been developed by the University of Florida breeding program since the initial releases of ‘Sharpblue’, ‘Flordablue’, and ‘Avonblue’ in the mid-1970s. Today there are more blueberry cultivar choices available for Florida growers than ever before, but in every case, cultivar selection involves weighing the advantages and disadvantages of a cultivar relative to the grower’s needs. Unfortunately, there are no perfect cultivars suited for every location and management system. This 10-page fact sheet categorizes southern highbush cultivars into four groups: major cultivars, secondary cultivars, new options, and historical cultivars. Proper cultivar selection is critical to a successful blueberry enterprise, and growers should seek information from multiple sources, including their local county Extension office. Written by J.G. Williamson, J.W. Olmstead, G.K. England, and P.M. Lyrene, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, April 2014.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1245

What is urea-triazone nitrogen?

Figure 1. The chemical structure of triazone, C3H7ON3.Foliar application of nitrogen and other nutrients essential for plant growth and development is an important practice for crop production. Most foliar nutrient N products contained the traditional N sources such as ammonium, nitrate and/or urea before urea-triazone N was available on the market. The traditional N sources have a greater salt index and leaf-burn potential than urea-triazone N. To avoid or minimize leaf burning, urea-triazone N fertilizers can be used instead of the traditional N sources. But growers have concerns about the safety of using triazone N fertilizers for commercial crop production because the fertilizers are still new to them. This 2-page fact sheet provides basic information on urea-triazone-based fertilizer for county faculty, crop consultants and advisors, growers, and students interested in commercial crop production. Written by Guodong Liu and Jeffrey Williamson, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, October 2013.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1233

Florida Subtropical Peaches: Production Practices

Figure 6. Weed control within the tree row. Subtropical peach production includes many practices, such as site selection, orchard design, and disease, weed, and insect management through to harvest. Florida’s subtropical climate allows growers to harvest their crops early, but it creates challenges for the long postharvest growing season. This 14-page fact sheet covers the breadth of topics related to subtropical peach production, including a monthly timeline of recommended practices. Written by M. Olmstead, J. Chaparro, J. G. Williamson, R. Rouse, R. Mizell, P. Harmon, and J. Ferguson, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, August 2013.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs348

Florida Peach and Nectarine Varieties

Figure 6. ‘Gulfking'The University of Florida has developed high-quality, low-chilling, early-maturing peach and nectarine cultivars that can be grown from the panhandle of Florida to as far south as Immokalee. Low-chilling cultivars can grow and produce fruit under Florida conditions that are much warmer in winter than in northern states. Furthermore, ripening of these cultivars during April and May ensures an early spring market window for tree-ripe fresh fruit in Florida before peaches and nectarines from other southeastern states and California come to market. Both commercial and dooryard recommended varieties span the growing season. This 8-page fact sheet was written by Mercy Olmstead, Jose Chaparro, Pete Andersen, Jeff Williamson, and James Ferguson, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, May 2013.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg374

2013 Florida Blueberry Integrated Pest Management Guide (HS1156/HS380)

Figure 6. Flower bud stage 6Recommendations are based on information from the manufacturer’s label and performance data from research and Extension field tests. This 31-page pest management guide was adapted for Florida by Jeffrey G. Williamson, Philip F. Harmon, Oscar E. Liburd, and Peter Dittmar, from the Southeast Regional Blueberry Integrated Management Guide, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, November 2012.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs380

How to Calculate Fertigation Injection Rates for Commercial Blueberry Production (HS1197)

Figure 1.  For a 4-foot irrigated band within an 8-foot row spacing, the area that receives fertigation is half of the total, or "real estate," area. Thus, the actual band area of the farm equals 50% of the farm area. However, all IFAS-recommended fertilizer rates are given on a "real estate" acre basis. The amount of fertilizer to apply is calculated based on the entire area of the blueberry farm, regardless of the width of the band to which the fertilizer is applied. To increase nutrient and water use efficiencies and reduce nutrient leaching and environmental concerns, fertigation is recommended for commercial blueberry production. In fact, successful fertigation can enhance sustainability and maximize profitability for commercial blueberry enterprises. One of the key factors in fertigation is the correct calculation of fertilizer injection rate and time for the acreage. This publication helps blueberry growers correctly calculate fertigation injection rates and times and provides reference tables for checking injection rates and times needed for a variety of production scenarios. This 3-page fact sheet was written by Guodong Liu, Jeffrey Williamson, Gary England, and Alicia Whidden, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, March 2012.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1197

Weed Management in Pecan (HS95/WG022)

Pecan tree grove in North Florida. UF/IFAS Photo: Thomas Wright.Weeds compete with pecan trees for light, nutrients, and water. Weed interference can be minimized with proper cultural practices and herbicides. This 5-page fact sheet was written by Peter J. Dittmar and Jeffrey G. Williamson, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, March 2012.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wg022

Reproductive Growth and Development of Blueberry (HS976/HS220)

Figure 2. Bumble bees sonicate flowers and efficiently transfer pollen from one flower to another.This 7-page fact sheet discusses flower bud initiation and development, pollination and fruit set, fruit development and yeild, and the use of plant growth regulators. Written by J. G. Williamson, J. W. Olmstead, and P. M. Lyrene, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, February 2012.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs220

Weed Management Guides: Blueberry, Nectarine, and Plum

These 6-page fact sheets were written by Peter J. Dittmar and Jeffrey G. Williamson, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, February 2012.

Florida’s Commercial Blueberry Industry (HS742/AC031)

gure 1. Southern highbush blueberry planting with bark beds and drip and overhead irrigationThe Florida blueberry industry has grown rapidly because Florida growers can produce high-quality fruit when few fresh berries are available and berry prices are high. Although southern highbush blueberry acreage has expanded significantly in Florida, Georgia, California, and Mexico during the last several years, better cultivars and improved cultural practices have increased grower production efficiency during the last several years, with promising production trends for the future profitability. This 4-page fact sheet was written by J. G. Williamson, J. W. Olmstead, and P. M. Lyrene, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, February 2012.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ac031

Weed Management in Peach (HS93/WG020)

Figure 1. Weed-free strip under peach trees and grass strips between rowsProper weed management is important for a healthy peach orchard. Peach trees and weeds compete for water, nutrients, and light. And they serve as hosts for insects that cause catfacing and nematodes that carry viral diseases. This 6-page fact sheet was written by Peter J. Dittmar and Jeffrey G. Williamson, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, January 2012.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wg020

Protecting Blueberries from Freezes in Florida (HS968/HS216)

ure 2a.  Blueberry flower buds protected by overhead irrigation during a severe freeze. Clear ice, as seen here, is usually an indication of adequate freeze protection.Blueberry growers: know when the conditions are right in commercial blueberry fields, during and after bloom, for freeze damage, as well as practices you can use to minimize it. This 7-page fact sheet was written by J.G. Williamson, P.M. Lyrene, and J.W. Olmstead, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, January 2012.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs216

Blueberry Gardener’s Guide (CIR1192/MG359)

Figure 7. ‘Farthing’ blueberry.Home gardeners: Use this guide to successfully grow blueberries in Florida. This 8-page fact sheet was written by J.G. Williamson, P.M. Lyrene, and J.W. Olmstead, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, January 2012.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg359

Weed Management in Pear (HS94/WG021)

green pearWeeds compete with pear trees for light, nutrients, and water. Weed interference can be minimized with proper cultural practices and herbicides. General maintenance, such as controlling weeds in adjacent areas, preventing weeds from producing seeds, and cleaning mowing equipment of weed seed, will prevent weeds from becoming a serious problem. This 6-page fact sheet includes recommendations for herbicides labeled for pear in Florida. Written by Peter J. Dittmar and Jeffrey G. Williamson, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, December 2011.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wg021

Alternative Opportunities for Small Farms: Peach and Nectarine Production Review (RFAC018/AC018)

PeachFlorida produces some of the earliest commercial-quality peaches and nectarines in North America. During the last 10 years, many new, improved peach and nectarine cultivars have been released by the University of Florida. They have increased the potential for expansion of commercial peach and nectarine acreage throughout much of the Florida peninsula and along the Gulf Coast regions of the southeastern United States. This 3-page fact sheet was written by Mercy Olmstead, Jeff Williamson, Jose Chaparro, and Tim Crocker, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, September 2011.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ac018

HS765/MG367 Sustainability Assessment of Fruit and Nut Crops in North Florida and North Central Florida

Revised! HS-765, an 18-page illustrated article by Peter C. Andersen, Jeffrey G. Williamson, and Timothy E. Crocker, summarizes the degree of adaptation of deciduous fruit and nut species in Florida and identifies cultivars that are recommended for trial in various locations in Florida. Includes references. Published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, September 2009.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/MG367

4H-PSJ-20/4H004 Florida 4-H Horticulture Identification and Judging: Contest Rules and Glossary

Revised! 4H-PSJ-20, a 16-page illustrated fact sheet by Jeffrey G. Williamson, Sydney Park Brown, and Tom Wichman, provides guidelines and information for Florida 4H members and Master Gardeners interested in horticulture and/or in participating in state contests held annually at 4-H Congress or the Master Gardener Annual Conference. This publication combines and supercedes 4H-PSJ-20 (Rules and Glossary), 4H-PSJ-21 (Flowers and Foliage Plants), 4H-PSJ-22 (Fruits and Nuts), 4H-PSJ-23 (Ornamentals), 4H-PSJ-24 (Vegetables) and 4H-PSJ-25 (Score Sheet). Published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, August 2009.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/4H004