Domestic production of blueberries continues to rise as more consumers demand the fruit. From desperation comes change. The struggles of California table grape growers 15-20 years ago led the Avinelis family to consider blueberries.
There may already be a large array of automation technology available to aid blueberry harvesting, but researchers are now developing an improved solution that makes the process more efficient and limits fruit damage.
From environmental to economic, produce and floral growers continue to navigate a wave of challenges. One in particular — the shortage of labor — has emerged as the most concerning issue facing the industry today.
Supply of the haskap berry out of Canada’s Quebec region is growing significantly every year, say local growers. “The 2017 Quebec crop has been a record,” says Samuel Cote of Saint-Bruno, Québec-based Quebec Wild Blueberries Inc. “We’re estimating that Quebec has produced a little bit more to 90 tons.”
Growers contend with variables of weather, price and tonnage. WHATCOM — This season’s commercial red raspberry harvest is wrapping up on a mixed note. First, it follows up on a 2016 bumper crop of 75 million pounds in the county, setting a record hard to beat.
This summer student Liza Lievens is in Poland for an internship in blueberry trading and cultivation. She writes about it in this article. "Throughout the season, I live and work with the family company AgroTrade, in Piła, near Poznan in western Poland. They trade in blueberries for export and also own a blueberry plantation.
Stockton STK, a company working in the development and marketing of botanical based solutions for crop protection, today announced that its proprietary fungicide REGEV has received a product registration approval from Ministry of Agriculture in Guatemala.
The first volumes of German Driscoll´s blackberries are finding their way to the supermarkets. Also, according to the company, the German raspberry production is growing tremendously.
Peru has seen a a string of new blueberry market openings over the last two years from Canada in September 2015 to China in November 2016, and more recently Brazil in April this year.
The agricultural workforce is aging. The most recent U.S. Department of Agriculture Census of Agriculture in 2012 reported the average age of the U.S. farmer is 57 and the share of farmers 65 years and older has increased from 14 percent in 1945 to 30 percent in 2007.
On 1 July Polish blueberry growers officially started the 2017 season. This date marks the start of the harvesting season in Poland and a celebration known as Polish Blueberry Day.
I remember a spring day in 1995, when I had the honor of visiting the blueberry breeding program led by Dr. Paul Lyrene at the University of Florida (UF).
Last year was excellent for Peruvian blueberry exports. Shipments increased by 148% over 2015, and blueberries became the agricultural exports' star product.
Now in its ninth year of production, a pioneering blueberry project in Morocco is in an ideal position in 2017 with one executive seeing a very strong crop and positive market conditions as well.
Moroccan blueberry producer African Blue is spreading supply of its key varieties with strong volumes heading to Britain where consumers are “crazy” for the premium fruit.
Canada’s British Columbia Blueberry Council (BCBC) has said it will once again be exhibiting at Japan’s premier food and beverage trade show next month in recognition of the importance of the market.
“I think now there’s a stage where everybody is getting a little bit nervous…it used to be easy to have growth in berries but now quality is changing. In the whole value chain you have to be a little bit ahead of anybody else to maintain your growth.”
"Every year, new varieties arise and new countries like Peru, South Africa or Morocco join the competition," states Juan Pablo Hube, representative of the Chilean company, Huberry Farm & Export.
The South African blueberry industry is in a period of robust growth, due to high demand from the UK and the EU for blueberries in particular, as well as nascent domestic interest.