BlooApril 27, 2022
HowGeorgia blueberries are now in season! Originally planted as a replacement crop for tobacco, blueberries are now the #1 fruit produced in Georgia, and the industry is valued at over $120 million. (Move over, peaches.) Although blueberries are blossoming as an industry, there is plenty of room to grow. With so many factors at play in growing the perfect blueberry, calculating profits may not be as simple as it seems.
Dr. Keith Delaplane and his associate Dr. Ashfaq Sial are both professors of entomology at the University of Georgia. Working closely with farmers in the state, they realized farmers had no tools to help them assess the costs or benefits of using pesticides. Pesticides kill harmful pests, but they also hurt pollinators. Fewer pollinators mean fewer blueberries.
Bloo is an app that helps blueberry farmers calculate the costs and benefits of using pesticides and pollinators. Farmers can enter values such as weather conditions, pest density, pesticide use, and pollinator visitation rates. These values are then assessed using an economic model, and the effects on profit are displayed to the farmer. Bloo will help farmers make smarter decisions for a brighter, bluer future in Georgia.