Stone Fruit IPM for Beginners

POSTED IN Uncategorized ON 6/29/2019

Have you developed a Integrate Pest Management program for your orchard?

If not, this resource is likely to be helpful in thinking through the various considerations: https://www.canr.msu.edu/ipm/agriculture/fruit/stone-fruit-ipm-for-beginners

Many saskatoon growers also grow a variety of other fruits and vegetables, and attempt to juggle the common challenges, as well as the unique challenges of each crop. In this environment, understanding which pests will spread from their ‘preferred’ diet to other crops, and which new arrivals will threaten which crops, can be quite complex.

While many call the fruit ‘saskatoon berries’, saskatoons are actually a pome fruit, like apples and pears. Stone fruits includes single pit fruit, such as peaches, plums, cherries, mangoes and almonds. Even with this difference, pome fruit and stone fruit have some common pests.

This referenced document is not a complete manual on how to handles pests, but whether you are new to this approach, or are still willing to learn more, a review of the document is likely to provide some seeds for further thought.

Bird Damage Management

POSTED IN Uncategorized ON 6/29/2019

Here are a couple of recommendations from saskatoon growers to help reduce bird damage to otherwise harvestable saskatoon crops:

  1. Netting: After  few years of significant bird loss, Jacques Orchards did a trial plot of bird netting last year. They were so pleased that they covered the orchard this year (adding the lesson learned about making sure that the netting touched the ground all the way around). This year things are looking very good. The photo below shows what they netting looks like.  It can be removed for partial harvest, and then the bushes can be covered again until later in the season.
Net Over Saskatoon Bushes

2. Helpful Birds: Encouraging Kingbirds can be a great option.  Kingbirds eat insects, but not much fruit, and they are scrappy, so often scare off other birds, including flocking birds, that want your saskatoons as their entree, over and over again.

There are 2 identified types of Kingbirds: western and eastern.

Learn more about Kingbirds at: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Western_Kingbird/overview

Kestrel Hawks are another option: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Kestrel

By providing an appropriate habitat, you may be able to entice these preferred neighbors.

Industry Survey Deadline Quickly Approaches

POSTED IN For Consumers, For Growers, For Members ON 6/6/2019

The Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America is reaching out to nearly 300 farms that grow saskatoons for sale. These farms are located throughout Canada and the United States. With the results of this survey the Institute expects to identify: 1) industry wide production expectations for 2019, 2) existing distribution options for harvested saskatoons, 3) issues that most challenge growers, and 4) changes regarding industry players and production since our last survey in 2015. The outcome will be a report entitled The State of the Saskatoon Berry Industry, 2019

Each grower that completes and submits their survey will receive a copy of the complied report.

The deadline for farms to participate in the Saskatoon Growers Survey is Saturday, June 8, 2019.

2019 is shaping up to be a bumper crop for saskatoons. We have not yet received any reports of crop loss due to weather or other naturally occurring conditions.

If you are a grower, and have not yet received the survey, please click on Contact Us and request a copy of the survey. Please be sure to include your e-mail address in your communication.

If you are a consumer, and hope to acquire some saskatoons of your own later this summer, please click on Calendar to find a listing, by date, of availability in your area. Please note that many of our Institute members will not post their status until about 2 weeks before their fruit is ripe, so you may need to check in every week or two until your region has ripening fruit. Ripening dates vary by geographic region, so it would be unusual to see all growers posted on the same dates. Generally fruit is available in more southern areas as soon as early July, and in more northerly climates as late as mid-August.

 

About Saskatoons (also called Juneberries or Pacific serviceberries in some locations): Saskatoons (sometimes with the addition of the word berries) are a fruit that comes from Amelanchier alnifolia plants. While some suggest that saskatoons look like blueberries, they are actually a unique fruit with a very dark purple color (high in antioxidants), more firm that many berries, with a tangier, almost nutty taste.  Saskatoons are part of the Rosaceae family. Its close relatives include many common fruits such as apples, plums, cherries, apricots and almonds. Saskatoons are great to eat fresh as well as baked. Some of the harvest is used to infuse wine and other alcoholic beverages. While hard to find in processed forms, they are also sought after in juice and powder forms. In some locations consumers buy find them frozen as well as dried.

 

About The Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America: SBINA is an educational organization, both for growers and consumers. We neither buy or sell fruit or plants. Our goal is to see greater crop availability leading to more saskatoons being enjoyed throughout North America.