Learn from the world’s leading experts on plant growth and physiology, cultivars, and production systems to establish or improve your own blueberry farm.

Designed For
New and established blueberry growers; small-to-large sized farms; conventional and organic producers. The course is focused on the Pacific Northwestern USA but much of the information should be applicable to many suitable production regions worldwide.
Dates
September 29, 2017 - November 13, 2017
Delivery
On-line instructor led. Lead instructor: Dr. Bernadine Strik, Professor of Horticulture and Extension Berry Crops Specialist
Cost
$995 plus $60 non-refundable registration fee.
 
Length
18 to 25 hours of student time over 6 weeks
Units
2.0 Units / 20 CEUs through the American Society of Agronomy

Learn the fundamentals of blueberry plant physiology and growth, species and types grown and cultivar adaptation, planting establishment, production systems, and important pests to develop successful new plantings or improve the yield and production efficiency of existing planting in this online, instructor-led certificate program offered by Professional and Continuing Education at Oregon State University. Within a collaborative, research- and experience-based curriculum and interaction with the instructor and peers through a discussion board, you will finish the course with a comprehensive knowledge of blueberry.

The course is designed to start with development of an in-depth knowledge of blueberry plant physiology and growth to understand how plants will respond to weather/climate, pests, and production practices. Each subsequent week we will build upon this information to provide practical knowledge on blueberry cultivars, planting design, establishment, production systems, pruning, and pests. You will engage with the instructor(s) and peers through the discussion board.

The target audience for this course is growers of small- to large-sized conventional or organic farms, crew leaders, farm managers, advisors, packers, shippers, and consultants. The course is designed such that those new or well-versed in blueberry production will benefit. Students will access 3 to 4 hours of lectures per week in this 6-week course. A new set of lectures will be available each week. In addition to completing the course and interacting with peers and the instructors on a discussion board, students will need to complete one or more quizzes per week to receive their certificate of completion.

Additionally, there are a limited number of scholarships available for the class. Please click the grey "Scholarship Application" button on the right side of the screen to download. You will be asked to submit the completed scholarship application form in the online registration form. 

  • Blueberry plant physiology and how they grow
  • Blueberry species & types and where different cultivars are adapted
  • Site selection and preparation
  • Planting design for hand and machine harvest
  • Irrigation system design and management
  • Organic amendments - the good and the bad
  • Mulches and impacts on weed management
  • Nutrient management before and after planting
  • Pruning from planting through maturity, considering harvest method and cultivar differences (videos will be used to highlight pruning plants of different ages and cultivars)
  • Methods of fruit harvesting
  • Physiological problems
  • Insects, diseases nematodes, and viruses - symptoms, life cycles, and tools for pest management
  • Bernadine Strik

    Dr. Bernadine Strik, the lead instructor, is a Professor of horticulture and Extension Berry Crops Specialist at OSU and the Berry Crops Research Leader at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center. She has over 29 years of experience in research, teaching, and grower education at OSU and has served as an international berry crops consultant for more than 16 years. Her research areas of focus include whole plant physiology, improving yield and quality, machine harvest efficiency, pruning, optimization of production systems, plant nutrition, and organic production systems in all berry crops. Bernadine belongs to many professional organizations and holds or has held many leadership positions. She has published over 200 scientific papers and many Extension materials and book chapters on berry crop production and physiology. Her educational and research programs are world renowned and she has received many awards for her achievements. Bernadine was elected a Fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science, their highest honor, in 2007 and in 2014 she received the OSU Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award.

     

    Chad Finn Blueberry Dr. Chad Finn is a berry crop breeder at the USDA-ARS Horticultural Crops Research Unit (HCRU) in Corvallis, OR since 1993. The berry crop breeding program has been run collaboratively with OSU for over 100 years and has focused on developing berry crop cultivars for the Pacific Northwest industry; collecting, evaluating, and incorporating new useful germplasm from around the world into our breeding material; and working with genomicists to develop tools that will enhance the efficiency of the breeding program. Chad has released many commercial blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, and strawberry cultivars and has published over 200 research publications along with 30 book chapters and 38 extension publications. Chad received Purdue University’s Department of Horticulture Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006; received the USDA-ARS’s National award for Superior Technology Transfer in 2009; was elected an ASHS Fellow in 2010; received ASHS’s Outstanding Cultivar Award in 2012; and was awarded the American Pomological Society’s Wilder Medal Award for outstanding service to horticulture in 2013. 

     

     

    David B. Blueberry Dr. David Bryla is a Research Horticulturist at the USDA-ARS HCRU. He has over 25 years of experience in plant nutrition and water relations and has conducted studies on many different crops, including apples, peaches, citrus, tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli, peppers, onions, garlic, safflower, and wheat. His current research is focused on the water management of berry crops for irrigation, fertigation, frost protection, and evaporative cooling. He engages with stakeholders from the small fruit industry, as well as with the irrigation and fertilizer industries.

     

     

    Vaughn Walton Blueberry

    Dr. Walton works on economically important pests, with the aim to provide environmentally sustainable and minimal impact pest management strategies for agriculturalists. We use multiple techniques in a whole-system approach to obtain sustainable means of production.

    In order to obtain this goal, new knowledge obtained from detailed insect physiological, biological, behavioral, ecological and environmental studies are used. This knowledge is then used to apply treatments timed to occur during periods when pests are at their most vulnerable. These control strategies have historically focused on biological control, mating disruption and conventional synthetic pesticides.

     

    Jay Pscheidt Blueberry Jay W. Pscheidt received his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985. Since 1988 he has been a professor at Oregon State University as an Extension Plant Pathology Specialist. His principal duties are to lead a statewide extension program related to the diagnosis and management of diseases of all fruit, nut, and ornamental/nursery crops. He is also co-editor of regional publication The Pacific Northwest Plant Disease Management Handbook.