North Carolina is the 6th largest producer of blueberries in the country. The antioxidant-filled superfood is grown throughout the state, but thrives in the organic, acidic soil found in the southeastern counties. The North Carolina Blueberry Council represents blueberry growers and their partners. The nonprofit council promotes efficiency in all aspects of blueberry production and marketing, promotes consumer awareness, and supports research work to develop new and improved cultivars, industry methods and best practices for disease control. As part of this effort, the council partnered with the North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative (N.C. PSI).
“The North Carolina Blueberry Council has enjoyed a long and beneficial working relationship with NC State University, supporting and helping to fund projects,” said Brenda Park, executive director of the council. “We know that the future of agriculture in North Carolina and the world is essential to our well-being, and we want to be part of the solution.”
Researchers at NC State have already produced many successes. Field trials and greenhouse work at the Horticultural Crops Research Station led to the development of new cultivars that adapt to mechanical harvesting. Scientists also run field tests for the best way to control disease, insects and weeds.
“We hope that all of the technology, research, personnel, knowledge, etc. that will be brought together through N.C. PSI will produce results that benefit not only North Carolina blueberry growers, but all agriculture in the United States and globally,” said Park.
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Senior Director of Development, Plant Sciences Initiative