Blueberry Harvest Pt 2

Blueberry Harvest Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson with today’s Fruit Grower Report. The Washington blueberry harvest is in full swing and so far, so good. The berries are plentiful and the quality is very good.

Washington Blueberry Commission Executive Director, Alan Schreiber says that’s not to say there haven’t been any weather challenges this year, like the recent heat that’s come to the Pacific Northwest …

SCHREIBER … “One of the challenges is we have to have overhead cooling. And so, we have to have our irrigation going at maximum capacity whenever it’s above 90-degrees to have the overhead cooling.”

Or else, Schreiber says the berries will feel it …

SCHREIBER … “The fruit matures more quickly so we need to get it picked and off the bush as quick as possible so it doesn’t overheat and get soft. And so, when it gets hot it is more of a challenge because more fruit comes off per unit of time.”

The pickers, Schreiber says are also at risk …

SCHREIBER … “And also, once it gets above 85-90-degrees, we take special precautions for our workers. You know, probably most folks when it approaches 100, they quit working. And so, there’s just a number of challenges that come with above average temperatures.”

But overall, Schreiber says the berries look good …

SCHREIBER … “The Washington state projection right now is 180-million pounds. That is up, something like, maybe, 3.5% from last year.”

Washington state is the number one blueberry grower in the nation.

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