Jul 24, 2023
New York blueberries fare ‘surprisingly well,’ despite freeze, drought

The New York State Berry Growers Association is urging consumers to visit their local farm markets and U-pick patches before weather curtails fruit production.

A wet summer in the Northeast has produced excellent berry crops in the region, according to the association, but pests and extreme heat may affect the plants’ ability to continue producing fruit.

NY-berry-associationDespite a May hard freeze, spring drought and occasional hail storms around the region, this season’s blueberry harvest has shaped up surprisingly well, with strong plant growth and large fruits. Farms across New York are reporting bumper crops, with many of them offering the opportunity for customers to stock up for summer snacking, as well as freezing for later use.

Wet conditions, however, can lead to large populations of spotted wing drosophila, an invasive fruit fly that can decimate fruit crops in a short period of time. Most New York State farms are well equipped to handle these pests, but extreme heat can cause blueberry and caneberry plants, such as blackberries and raspberries, to drop their fruit sooner than normal.

Founded in 1988, the New York State Berry Growers Association is a nonprofit educational association for berry growers, from large wholesale family farms to independent farm stands and small pick-your-own operations. The association promotes the growing and marketing of berries through the exchange of valuable information, including scientific research and farming techniques.

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