Maine blueberry harvest begins, price trends leave sour taste

Prices for wild blueberries in Maine continue to be lower than what growers hope for.

LIBERTY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — For many Maine growers, the wild blueberry harvest season has begun. However, the price growers get for their crop continues to leave sour taste.

According to David Yarborough, a Wild Berry Specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, the price growers expect to get for their blueberries is about 27 cents. Yarbourough says this is the around the same as last season, but this trend remains lower than farmers hope.

"The money given to the grower probably is less than the cost of growing the berries," Yarbourough said.

Yarborough also says the wild blueberry supply is expected to drop this year from about 100 million pounds to 75 million pounds due to an increase in cultivated blueberries grown in other states and more competition from Canada.

Another issue Yarbourough says some farmers face is what is known as Mummy Berry disease, which is a fungus that attacks and destroys the crop.

Still some farmers like Joshua Dickson, of Foggy Hill Farm, are excited for harvest season.

"Growing blueberries is a Maine tradition," Dickson said.

Dickson says Maine has the best blueberries around.

Time will tell how the season fares for Mainers working in the industry.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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