Date of Award
Master of Science
Cecil Carter Jr
Alvin D. Rutledge, Lewis Dickson
The major purpose of this study was to describe Tennessee blueberry producers, their farms, and marketing and production practices. It was believed that this information would assist Tennessee Extension Agents and Specialists in planning and implementing educational programs and information for current and potential commercial producers as well as homeowners and gardeners. Twenty Tennessee blueberry producers were interviewed and a survey instrument developed by the researcher, with the assistance of the graduate committee, was completed.
Data were coded and punched on computer cards and computations were made by the University of Tennessee Computing Center. The analysis of variance F test and chi-square test were used to determine the strength of relationships between variables. F values and x2 values which achieved the .05 probability level were accepted as significant.
Major findings included the following:
1. The mean age of Tennessee blueberry producers was 51 years.
2. The majority of Tennessee's blueberry plantings are located in East Tennessee.
3. The average size of Tennessee blueberry plantings was 3.1 acres.
4. The average blueberry yield in Tennessee in 1984 was 1,338.4 pounds per acre.
5. Tennessee blueberry producers sold 96 percent of their 1984 crop U-pick for an average price of $0.80 per pound.
6. When taken individually, the production practices of age of plant at setting, container size, average mulch depth, pounds of nitrogen, potash and phosphate applied on mature plants, frequency of soil test, whether or not a soil test was taken prior to planting and whether or not irrigation was used were not significantly related to yield.
7. For the most part, producer and farm characteristics were not significantly related to age of plants at setting, container size, average mulch depth, pounds of applied nitrogen per acre on mature plants, frequency of soil test, use of irrigation, cultivars planted, type of mulch materials used, taking a soil test prior to planting or the total number of Tennessee Extension recommended practices used.
Implications and recommendations also were included in the study.
Davis, Rodney L., "Characteristics of Tennessee blueberry producers and their farm operations. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1985.