Monday, March 30, 2020

Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfection Workshop for Direct Market Growers

Blackberry and raspberry growers (primarily small farm markets):
The NCSU Produce Safety Team has put together a workshop to talk about the issues around cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfection for produce growers and to answer questions you may be having on these issues.

On Friday April 3rd, NCSU will host a session for small growers from 8:30-9:30am.  

All you have to do is click on the link below at the designated time and date: - Grower Training April 3rd, 8:30am

Friday, March 27, 2020

More COVID-19 information

The NC Cooperative Extension Service has developed a lot of resources for growers related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including information for Farms and Agribusiness, Food Safety and more.

The comprehensive site is here:

Is Coronavirus an issue in  Produce Production?

And a link to Farming Resources developed by Mark Hoffmann (Strawberry and Grape Extension Specialist)

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

FAQ: Covid 19 for U Pick and Farmers Markets

NCSU has prepared FAQ infosheets for U Pick and Farmers Markets.
"THE GOOD NEWS COVID-19 is not a foodborne illness. It is extremely unlikely that someone will catch it through eating. The virus is most likely to cause illness through respiratory transmission, not eating. The routes to be concerned about include being in very close proximity to many people or coming in contact with high touch surfaces." (Quote from infosheets below)

Links with other information specific to U Pick and Farmers Markets:

Additional Resources can be found at:

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Blackberries buds vulerable to cold

Temperatures early Sunday morning may be low in blackberry fields in western NC. Remember that the killing temperature for a blackberry bud is 28F.  Check your buds Sunday afternoon or Monday. Damage will look like this. The darkened center of the bud shows that the receptacle has been damaged and no fruit will develop from the bud. The smaller bud on the right, has no darkened center and it will produce fruit.

Blackberry production in NC is on the charts!

This is a great article reviewing the growth of the blackberry over the past 10 years and how NC fits in over a season.

Mexico and California dominate the markets, but the SE has its role. I find it interesting that GA has a single peak in production, while NC is steady over its season (3rd chart in the article link below).

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Thirteenth Annual NC Commercial Blackberry and Raspberry Growers Association Meeting

Thursday February 13, 2020
Bladen County Extension Office Auditorium
450 Smith Cir #N8, Elizabethtown, NC 28337



Opening Remarks and Welcome-Ethan Lineberger, NCCBRGA President

Controlling Broad mites in Blackberries and Exirel Update-Dr. Hannah Burrack, NCSU

Short and Stout: Vegetative Growth Management in Blackberry- Dr. Tom Kon, NCSU (ZOOM)


Public Varieties Update-Karen Blaedow, NC Extension-Henderson Co.

Double Crop Fertility Trial Findings-Dr. Kristin Hicks, NCDA

Pest Management Strategic Plan (PMSP) Update-Dr. Sara Villani, NCSU

NCCBRGA Business Meeting

Lunch and Vendor Visits

A Word from our Sponsors

On Farm Readiness Review Program-Sarah Cope, Outreach Coordinator, NCDA&CS

FSMA Inspections and Produce Safety Rule Overview-Allison Pitts, Produce Compliance Officer, NCDA&CS

Blackberry Fertigation-Jeremy Barnes, Helena Chemical

Leaf Sampling for Nutrient Management and Building a Great Spray Program-Alan O’Neal, Coastal AgroBusiness

New Legal Requirements for Using Paraquat-Daniel Shires, NC Extension-Cleveland Co.
You are invited to attend the thirteenth annual NCCBRGA meeting. As always we have an interesting and educational program scheduled. The meeting will be held in the Bladen County Extension Auditorium at 450 Smith Cir #N8, Elizabethtown, NC 28337 on February 13.  In order to plan for the meal, you will need to RSVP by Friday, February 7 by calling 704-482-4365. If you have any questions, need directions or if you would like to sponsor the meeting, feel free to call.

There will be a $20 registration fee per person for the meeting. We will also be collecting, 2020 NCCBRGA annual membership dues. NCCBRGA membership dues are $50 per farm. These monies are vital to the continued success of the association and its members. Your membership dues allow us to have annual production meeting in addition to field days. The monies also support various research and academic projects.

In addition, make sure to thank and visit our numerous sponsors, which will be set up in the back of the auditorium! I look forward to seeing each of you at the meeting.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Blackberry Pruning Workshop

In collaboration with Caswell County Cooperative Extension, there will be a Blackberry Pruning and Care Class on January 22, 2020.  The class will be hosted by the folks at the Caswell Blackberry Farm in Prospect Hill, NC. See the invitation above for more details. Come join Daniel Ostrowski, Caswell County Extension agent and Gina Fernandez, NCSU Extension Specialist at the Caswell Farm. Wear warm clothes and BYOP (Bring Your Own Pruners).