Very good crop excepted

New Jersey blueberries larger in size than last year

Despite rain in spring that may have made things a little tough early on, growers have gotten through it and are seeing very good crops. Once the adequate rain helped the blueberries grow properly they started a week early, then slowed down with cooler weather in May and sped up again with some heat in June. “The berries are bigger than last year,” commented Tim Haines of Haines Berry Farm, which grows 80 acres of highbush blueberries. “It was just hard to get work done but the crop came through. It’s a nice crop. The size and the quality are nice. We’re happy.”

With plenty of labor on hand, his farm will be open to the public for pick-your-own and onsite retail until July 16, with the harvest completely done by about August 1. Half of his crop gets sold to Donio Produce, which distributes across the country. He said his favorite quote is “when things are good, it’s good management and when things are bad it’s the weather’s fault.” 

Prices above normal
Unfortunately for Georgia and North Carolina, poor weather meant they had poor crops. Haines said his prices are well above normal. “There weren’t a lot of blueberries on the market when we started picking.” While he said he doesn’t like to be “excited” about misfortune, other people do benefit from it. “It’s just part of life,” he said. 

With Michigan coming on, he’s not sure what will be coming from them yield or competition wise. “We’re hoping they can take care of that part of the country and we’ll take care of our side and we’re all still getting a good price and that it stays up.”

For more information:
Tim Haines
Haines Berry Farm
Tel: (609) 894-8630

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