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Story in Brief

In consultation with local growers, Calhoun County Extension began Blueberry educational programs in 2018 with producers who expressed interest in diversifying their farm production. Due to these efforts, blueberry production in Calhoun County began in 2019, with additional acreage planted in the fall of 2020. In 2019, the first 12 acres of blueberries were planted in Calhoun County. The cost to establish an acre of Southern Highbush Blueberries with frost protection was approximately $30,000 per acre. In 2020, blueberry production in Calhoun County increased with two farmers growing 24 acres of established blueberry production. These growers are planning to increase acreage within the next two to three years, and additional growers have expressed interest in beginning production as well. Beginning in 2018, the Calhoun County Extension agent collaborated with the UGA Extension Baker County agent to plan grower field day to visit existing sites and to educate growers on commercial blueberry production. The Calhoun County agent also arranged for various UGA Extension specialists to attend these meetings and field days to present research and data to help growers make the best possible decisions. Over the years, the existing 24 acres will provide an approximate Farm Gate value of around $500,000 per year to Calhoun County. Because of these efforts, blueberries with be a viable crop in Calhoun County for many years to come.