Blueberries Hit By Heat Pt 1

Blueberries Hit By Heat Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. The record setting temperatures seen around the Northwest recently are taking a toll on agriculture, including blueberry growers.

Alan Schreiber, Executive Director at the Washington Blueberry Commission, says 45% of our blueberries are grown in Eastern Washington where they’re dealing with triple-digits for up to ten days …

SCHREIBER … “We have about a 20-year history of blueberries in Eastern Washington and we’ve never had these kinds of temperatures. And so, we’re seeing things happen we’ve never seen before.”

The temps in Western Washington, Schreiber says aren’t AS high, but they might as well be …

SCHREIBER … “Up in Lyden, it was 108 to 110 in Whatcom County, the leading Washington blueberry producing county, and that is easily 20 degrees higher than what would be normal for there.”

And that, Schreiber says is crushing …

SCHREIBER … “That’s quite damaging. 108 in Whatcom County is worse than 117 in, say, Benton County Washington. They’re just, their plants aren’t as ready for it and they don’t the irrigation infrastructure there as we do.”

But, Schreiber says it’s not over …

SCHREIBER … “This calamity is just unfolding. If this would have just been a one-day event or a two-day event it wouldn’t be as bad, but this is a seven-to-ten-day event.”

Tune in tomorrow for more ... on how blueberries are handling the heat.

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