Aug 8, 2017Wild blueberry growers in Maine face smaller crop
Like so many of Maine’s seasonal industries, the wild blueberry business flourishes or flounders with the weather. And this year, Prof. David E. Yarborough, wild blueberry specialist with the UMaine Cooperative Extension and professor of horticulture at the university’s School of Food and Agriculture, says the dryer-than-normal summer is taking its toll on the crop.
“The plants are under stress especially when the temperatures get up to 80 (degrees) and above without the rainfall,” Yarborough told Maine Public. “We’ve had a few scattered showers here and there, but not nearly enough rain that we need. We need about an inch a week and the month of July and we got about half that amount of rain. We’re really in dire need of rain.”
Maine Public reports:
“Maine wild blueberry growers are trying to salvage what they can from this year’s harvest, which experts predict will likely be smaller in just about every way: Smaller berries, smaller total crop harvest and smaller prices than a few years ago. Some wild blueberry growers in Washington County actually decided it was more cost effective not to harvest their blueberries and have mowed their fields in hopes of better conditions next year.”
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