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About Erick Smith

Dr. Smith has an 80% extension and 20% research appointment in fruit production for southern Georgia. His responsibilities include providing leadership to the blueberry educational programs of southern Georgia. He assists county extension agents and commercial blueberry growers in production oriented material. His research interests are focused on plant nutrition, blueberry establishment, and production improvement. In blueberry and other commercial fruit crops, Dr. Smith is working to research and educate through collaborative efforts that include, but not exclusive to, leaders from the fields of plant pathology, entomology, physiology, and engineering to bring a rounded approach to problem solving.

Freezing Weather Preparation

The weekend of March 3rd was cold enough to cause damage in southern highbush. Extension agents have observed damage in Pierce and Ware Counties. During the last few weeks, both southern highbush and rabbiteye blueberries have moved through bloom stages rapidly. As we all well know, developing fruit is very…
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Hurricane Irma Aftermath 2017

Early reports suggest that damage to the plants from wind may include toppled plants, broken stems, and loss of leaves. However, rains were heavy and reported to be upwards of 8.5 inches over a 48 hr period in our prime blueberry growing regions of southern Georgia. Many plantings may have…
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Dry Conditions 4/14/2017

We have been experiencing 7 days without rain. Irrigation/rain is critical during fruit sizing and for plant growth in blueberry. Looking at past weather data from the University of Georgia Weather Network, the Alma weather station had the largest amount of rainfall in the last 7 days (April 7, 0.01…
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New Extension Publications Available

Housed on the UGA Extension Publications web site ( are three new publications: Home Fruit Orchard Pruning Techniques (C 1087) by Erick Smith, Bob Westerfield, and Dario Chavez is a review of pruning practices for tree, bush, bramble, and vine fruiting plants, including blueberry. Though the title focuses on the…
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New Southern Highbush: ‘Pinnacle’ (US 508)

Dr. Jim Ballington, North Carolina State University blueberry breeder, announced the advanced selection ‘Pinnacle’ (US 508) is available for trials. ‘Pinnacle is a collaboration between NCSU and USDA-ARS and is a cross of NC 1408 (‘Elizabeth’ x US 75) X ‘Bluechip’ made by A. D. Draper at Beltsville, MD. ‘Pinnacle’…
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