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Blueberry crop in P.E.I., Canada may drop by 30% this year

Prince Edward Island's (P.E.I.) blueberry crop will be smaller than in recent years after drought conditions this summer, but growers say they're being offered prices so low they'll lose money on every pound they pick.

Most of the Island's 120 blueberry growers including John Handrahan, president of the P.E.I. Wild Blueberry Growers Association, have just begun harvesting in the last week but are seeing fields with 10 to 20 per cent fewer berries.

"What I've seen so far is the crop does seem to be smaller than in the last two years," he said. "The reports I'm hearing from other parts of the province are the same. The berries are small, and from the lack of rain they're actually lighter [in weight]."

The dry weather also reduced crop sizes in Maine, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Handrahan said.

"The total crop may be down somewhere between 20 to 30 percent compared to last year," he said.

While some may expect with reduced supply farmers would see more value for their crops, but processors are offering farmers 33 percent less than last year, Handrahan said — 20 cents per pound rather than 30 cents.

Source: cbc.ca

Publication date: 8/31/2017


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