Blueberry production is ramping up in Florida and this year promises an abundant crop with ample returns to growers, despite a mild freeze in early March that damaged some fruit in the northern part of the state. Still, it is not a bad time to be in the Florida blueberry business. Returns to growers last year averaged roughly $5 a pounds.
Growers are seeing that the farms are not going in as quickly this year as they did last year and they’re starting to see some of the small farms going by the wayside. It’s shocking, but there are farms as large as 10-20 acres that are so unskilled in the business that they can’t make money and they’re just throwing in the towel. Whether they can’t grow properly or can’t manage their labor or don’t understand the perishability of the crop, it’s unsure, but a number are either looking to get out or have gotten out and thrown up their hands and it’s expect to see more of this.
There is still room for much growth in the category and Florida farmers will have a banner year and a bright future, due in part to blueberries classification as a “superfood” and the seemingly endless stream of good health news about the fruit.
The forecast for this year’s navel orange production in California is slightly above what it was last year, with a few months still left in this year’s season, growers are reporting adequate supplies and good prices on larger-sized fruit.
Though there was a cold snap early in the year, that brought only minimal frost damage, growers have not reported significant damage to this year’s fruit. Quality has been normal, though smaller-sized fruit has been more prevalent this year than in other years.
Source: IFDA, 3.8.2013
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