BerrySmart Blueberry Fields
In collaboration with innov8.ag, U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, PanAmerican Berry Growers, Sakuma Brothers, & Blue Mountain Farms we have been elected to host the "Berrysmart Blueberry Fields." Our goal is to validate a smart farm network that enables blueberry growers/packers/sales, tech community, and researchers to collaborate on farm operation optimization with better & more predictable yield outcomes
A collaborative experience between growers, researchers, & tech providers to optimize blueberry farming operations. Focusing on soil, soil nutrients, yield distribution, weather, chemicals, pollination & labor.
Good Fruit Grower
"A BerrySmart Idea"
Blueberry industry launches version of Smart Orchard Project
December 14, 2022
Build on year 1 priorities & traction, expanding to a 3rd location in Willamette Valley Oregon - with aim to templatize validated smart farm network that enables blueberry growers/packers/sales, tech community, and researchers to collaborate on farm operation optimization with better & more predictable yield outcomes.
- Lead definition of & project management of smart farm
- Recruit and implement tech providers & equipment donation/loan – initial emphasis on soil & yield measurement, irrigation optimization, weather basics
- Aggregate data from multiple providers
- Deliver data – visualize and where possible, repackage for actionable use cases
- Year-end report on progress & learnings
Blueberry Council Innovation & Technology Committee
- Provide funding to expand project in year 2
- Promote initiative & progress across industry (eg website, press, video, podcast, annual events)
- Support recruitment of tech providers & researchers
- Engage around industry norms / standards (grading, historical yields, economic measurements)
Growers & Marketers
- Provide fields for measurement/implementation/field days
- Engage on data collected / provide feedback on data > actionable use cases
- Speak to efficacy of approach / learnings as part of field days and year-end report
2022 was a year of industry firsts, 1st time mapping blueberries, blossom and pollination accuracy of about 0.5%
Learn about the sensors and equipment being used at the BerrySmart Fields
Green Atlas Cartographer
The Green Atlas Cartographer is an innovative combination of hardware and software that allows flower and fruit counts to be quickly and accurately mapped over entire orchards. With high resolution AI assisted mapping, our customers know every block and every tree, to help manage the life cycle from flower to fruit.
SoilOptix Top Soil Mapping
Offering much more than traditional soil measurement practices, SoilOptix® delivers the highest definition and most detailed field nutrient maps obtainable today. This empowers growers to make the best decisions for management and soil stewardship. SoilOptix® is your best choice, because every square foot is unique.
AgWeatherNet (AWN) provides Washington State farmers, gardeners, researchers and policy makers with weather data and weather-related decision-support tools to improve agricultural production (yield and quality), efficiency, and profitability while minimizing environmental impacts. AWN was established to serve irrigated agriculture in central Washington, but with a legislative mandate to serve the entire state has expanded to better serve other regions. LEARN MORE.
Sentek- Drill & Drop
Sentek's Drill and Drop probe accurately measures soil moisture, temperature and salinity. The probe is fully encapsulated, easy to install and can be completely buried to reduce the risk of machinery damage. Drill and Drop can be used for vegetable crops, fruit and nut trees, vines, berries, research projects and landscape management.
Tapered shape allows for extremely fast and high-quality undisturbed installation in majority of soil types.
Ability to measure the true soil profile, NOT slurry.
Buriable to any depth.
Pre-normalised sensors with inbuilt default calibration equations.
Access soil profile data through IrriMAX Live.
Available with moisture, salinity and temperature sensors at every 10 cm (4 inches) depth.
Beeflow creates and manages pollination programs for farmers which increase crop yields by up to 60%. They leverage scientific knowledge and proprietary technology to improve the impact of pollination in agriculture. Pollination is critical to crop success as it sets the ceiling for crop yield and quality potential. Inefficient or lack of pollination can reduce crop yields, cause malformation and small-sized crops, contribute to fruit diseases and ultimately increase food waste. At Beeflow they help farmers address crop pollination challenges with nature-based solutions to drive yield and quality.
BeeHero raises and keeps exceptional bees by combining generations of commercial beekeeping experience with cutting-edge technology.
They monitor their bees year-round
with their SmartHive sensor technology that ensures exceptional quality and strength.
BeeWise is a company that specializes in providing beekeeping solutions for both hobbyists and professionals. BeeWise's main product is a smart beehive that allows beekeepers to remotely monitor the health and activity of their hives. The hive is equipped with sensors that collect data on factors such as temperature, humidity, and bee activity. This data is transmitted to the beekeeper's mobile device, allowing them to monitor the hive's condition and take action if necessary.
Their technology mimics the buzz of the bumblebee, blueberries’ natural pollinator, by using mechanical arms mounted on an electric vehicle that vibrate the stems to release pollen grains on the flower’s stigma. They've also developed a predictive algorithm that tells growers exactly when the best time to pollinate is, based on environmental data and other factors.
Lisa Wasko DeVetter, PhD
Assistant Professor, Small Fruits
Learn more about Lisa by CLICKING HERE
Areas of Interest:
Whole-plant physiology of small fruit crops in response to alternative management systems designed to optimize plant productivity, fruit quality, and on-farm efficiencies while maintaining the health of adjacent natural resources within the diverse conditions of Washington State and greater Pacific Northwest
Crops of focus: raspberry, blueberry, strawberry.
Ph.D., Horticulture, University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.S., Horticulture and Soil Science, Iowa State University
B.S., Horticulture and Biology, Iowa State University
Scott Lukas, PhD
Learn more about Scott by CLICKING HERE
The OSU Horticulture Integrated Cropping Systems Program focuses on providing research based solutions to high value irrigated crops, with an emphasis on optimizing production system outputs while reducing negative environmental impacts.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa. 2015
M.S. University of Hawaii at Manoa. 2011
B.S. University of Nevada, Reno. 2007
Sakuma Brothers Farms in northwest Washington is well known throughout the industry and region as a committed leader in berry production, packing and processing. Sakuma Brothers has been vertically integrated for the past thirty years, ensuring fruit is picked at peak freshness, and packaged quickly to ensure excellent nutrition and flavor.
Ever since 1915, the dedicated Sakuma family and its team, have been working to supply their customers with the very best quality fruit products and services. They have established a standard of high quality berry products; Growing Strawberries, Blueberries, and Blackberries. Learn more about Sakuma Bro's amazing history.
Current Sakuma Family Members (L to R): Glenn Sakuma, Ryan Sakuma, Bryan Sakuma & Richard Sakuma
Blue Mountain Farms
1024 Lake Rd, Burbank, WA 99323
Applegate Orchards (a.k.a Blue Mountain Farms) made the decision to diversify their crops in the late 1990s after a few challenging years. Through research and experimentation, they became increasingly interested in blueberries and decided to transition to organic farming in 2000.
In 2002, Applegate began planting blueberry bushes and gradually replaced their apple trees with them. They replanted with high-chill Duke, Legacy, Liberty, Aurora and Last Call varieties. Applegate relies on WSU and MSU as well as new varieties being developed by Berry Blue.
Shirley Mason is passionate about incorporating new technology into her farm and is open to innovation. Her commitment to staying up-to-date with the latest farming techniques has led her to participate in BerrySmart and other similar initiatives.
Left to right: innov8.ag CEO, Steve Mantle and Applegate Owner Shirley Mason
PanAmerican Berry Growers (Willamette Valley)
Pan-American Blueberries has been in the growing business for about 70 years and since has become one of the largest producers and distributors of blueberries in the world.
Panamerican Blueberries has over 5,000 acres of blueberry farms across the United States, Mexico, Peru, and Argentina. The company is committed to sustainable agriculture and has implemented numerous practices to minimize its environmental impact. They use integrated pest management techniques, cover cropping, and have developed their own irrigation systems to conserve water.
The company has also invested heavily in research and development to improve the quality and taste of its blueberries. Panamerican Blueberries has its own breeding program and has developed new varieties that are sweeter, larger, and have a longer shelf life.
In addition to its farming operations, Panamerican Blueberries has its own packing and distribution facilities. This allows them to control the entire supply chain and ensure that their blueberries are of the highest quality. They have developed partnerships with major retailers and distributors to ensure that their blueberries are available year-round.
Panamerican Blueberries is also committed to giving back to the community. They support local schools and organizations through donations and volunteer work. The company has also established a scholarship program to help students pursuing careers in agriculture.
Overall, Panamerican Blueberries is a world-class blueberry producer that is committed to sustainable agriculture, quality, and community involvement. We are excited to be working with them in this years BerrySmart Fields!
The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) is a grower-driven organization working to be the global leader in knowledge, programs and resources used and shared by the blueberry industry. They support the domestic and international farmers who have a passion for growing the delicious and high-quality blueberries that inspire you to grab a boost of blue. Through collaboration and innovation, USBHC is moving their industry forward to bring you the best quality fruit and share the endless possibilities of blueberries.