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Georgia Is The Top Blueberry State In The Nation

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Although Georgia might be called the Peach State, a more accurate nickname would be the Blueberry State. This year, Georgia became the top blueberry producing state in the U.S., according to a news story from The Red and The Black, an independent student newspaper, serving the University of Georgia community.

Blueberry production in Georgia this year is estimated at 96 million pounds, which is up from 5 to 10 million pounds in 1990 says Scott NeSmith, professor and blueberry breeder at the University of Georgia’s Griffin Campus.

NeSmith says Georgia will always be known for peaches, even though the state is experiencing exponential growth in blueberries.

“We should always be proud of our peaches. Our peaches are fantastic. It’s just that peaches reached their plateau a few years back and blueberries are still growing. Blueberries have put us on the map in a different way,” he says.

Posted at http://www.growingproduce.com/fruits/berries/georgia-is-the-top-blueberry-state-in-the-nation/?utm_source=knowledgemarketing&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=afgenews%2011192014&omhide=true

Full article available at http://www.redandblack.com/uganews/georgia-blueberry-production-outgrows-peaches/article_8d2d4b74-5f9a-11e4-91b5-001a4bcf6878.html

 

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About Ash Sial

Dr. Ash Sial is Associate Professor in Department of Entomology at the University of Georgia. He has had extensive training in agricultural entomology from various institutions. He earned his Ph.D. in Entomology from Washington State University where he worked with apple growers to develop sustainable IPM programs for major pests of tree fruits. After graduation, he accepted a Post-Doctoral Research Scientist position at University of California, Berkeley and worked with winegrape growers to develop sustainable IPM programs aimed at managing exotic and emerging arthropod pests such as vine mealybug, and the diseases transmitted by mealybugs such as grapevine leafroll disease. He then joined Cornell University to investigate various aspects of biology and ecology of an invasive insect pest – spotted wing drosophila, which has recently emerged as a major threat to fruit production in the United States. Currently, he serves as the blueberry entomologist and IPM Coordinator for Georgia. At the University of Georgia, the goals of his research program are to investigate biology and ecology of major arthropod pests of blueberries in order to develop sustainable IPM programs, and disseminate that information to all stakeholders including commercial blueberry producers in a timely and convenient manner. He has published numerous peer-reviewed papers, delivered research and Extension presentations including invited guest lectures and a keynote address. He has also served professional societies including Entomological Society of America (ESA) in a leadership role at the regional and national levels. He has been recognized for excellence in research productivity and professional leadership at the regional and national level with several prestigious awards including the John Henry Comstock Award.