Blueberry Harvest

Blueberry Harvest

Blueberry Harvest. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

Blueberry harvest is underway. Washington State is one of 3 top blueberry producing states in the U.S. Alan Schreiber, Executive Director of the Washington Blueberry Commission says the crop looks good.

SCHREIBER: We’re not halfway through harvest yet, the yields in Eastern Washington were above average. We have yields that we would typically expect in Western Washington. Everyplace I’ve heard the quality is extremely good this year.

The eastern part of the state has been harvesting for a bit now and is just about at the halfway mark.

SCHREIBER: We’re just getting into it in Western Washington and in basically SE Washington. Just starting in the next few days in Mount Vernon and we’re still a couple of weeks away in Whatcom County. Overall statewide we’re probably 20%.

Prices for blueberries have been a bit soft lately and a recent announcement by the USDA of a $14.7 million dollar purchase will help bolster prices. Like most other ag industries blueberries depend on a certain amount of labor and Schreiber says that really hasn’t been an issue.

SCHREIBER: Most of it is machine picked but we do have a significant portion that is hand picked and we do have so far we believe adequate labor supplies.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.

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