The Florida Blueberry Growers Association (FBGA) is predicting a good year for blueberries despite a recent grower survey showing significant crop damage. Last week, FBGA asked its members to respond to a survey reporting any crop loss they are seeing in their fields. With a third of the state’s acreage responding, 95 percent reported some level of damage.
“This year our growers were faced with many issues that has led to statewide crop loss,” said Brittany Lee, president FBGA. “Pollination issues, gall midge, freeze damage, and Hurricane Irma – all affected our farms. Despite these issues, this will still be a productive year for Florida blueberries.”
FBGA encouraged its growers to continue to revisit production projections and update marketers in addition to efforts the association is doing to ensure market stability for Florida’s growers. While current estimates are showing a reduced amount of Florida blueberries entering the market compared to original projections, FBGA is positive about this year and the future of the Florida blueberry Industry.
Lee said “Research from the University of Florida IFAS Center for Public Issues has shown that consumers prefer to purchase Florida blueberries. In Florida we grow a healthy and safe product. Our growers are vigilant about food safety and sustainability. We are experiencing a tremendous amount of production pressures from non-domestic producers, and as an association we are working to develop accurate forecasting models for next season. This lets marketers and retailers know when to expect our fruit and how much there will be. FBGA is proud to represent our grower members who harvest fresh From Florida blueberries for our consumers at large.”