Our research at Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University is responsive to the changing requirements of the Northeastern North America wild blueberry industry in the 21st century. Major thrust areas are spot-application of herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers in wild blueberry cropping systems. This research program is playing an important role in developing systems (sensing and control systems) that are economical, environmentally sound, and easily adopted by wild blueberry growers, producers and manufacturers. Viable new technologies will be patented and marketed commercially as they significantly reduce input costs, increase profitability while minimizing environmental impacts. Thus the most commercially viable systems will be incorporated into standard equipment with the help of commercial developers/ manufacturers. The precision agriculture systems are farmer friendly and capable to collect necessary information real-time for spot- application of agrochemicals.
Doug Bragg Enterprises, Wild Blueberry Producers Associations and the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus (DAC) recognized the need for the development of integrated harvesting technologies to reduce the fruit loss in wild blueberry fields. The precison agriculture team led by Dr. Qamar Zaman from the DAC launched an initiative to develop innovative harvesting technologies in Atlantic wild blueberries. These technologies will allow improved harvesting techniques to increase harvestable berry yield and will ultimately lead to a more sustainable industry with the following objectives:
- Development of cost-effective and reliable integrated harvesting system to enhance harvestable berry recovery and quality.
- Development of farm-level harvesting recommendations for Canadian blueberry cropping systems to increase berry picking efficiency and fruit quality.