Blueberry crop yielding more than expected

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – In some Southern states, farmers are seeing the best blueberry crop in memory. However, Tippecanoe County farmers weren’t optimistic going into this bloom season.

Owner of Tippecanoe County’s Prelock Blueberry Farm Matt Prelock said last year was a great year for the crop. If a farmer is successful one year, that doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed the next time.

These crops depend heavily on one thing.

“It’s always about weather,” Prelock said.

Earlier in the year, the outlook was not good.

“(We) were thinking the crop would be off about 30 percent,” Prelock said. “I think we aren’t quite experiencing that.”

Prelock said during bloom time, at the end of April, there was a lot of sunshine perfect for the blueberries. When cooler temperatures showed themselves in May, Prelock started to worry.

However, he said June’s weather got everything back to normal.

“It’s been pretty ideal,” Prelock said. “During bloom time there was a lot of sunshine, the temperature was nice. We’ve had plenty of rainfall. They need about an inch of rain a week.”

Prelock said the yield has been about average, which is okay with him and for blueberry pickers at the farm.

“There were a lot of big and juicy blueberries,” one picker said. “It was a lot of fun picking, and the kids had a good time.”

The blueberry picking season is fast. The Prelock’s farm opened on July 7, and will most likely close after next week.

“It’s been steady,” Prelock said. “It wasn’t as busy in the beginning, but it’s been pretty steady. You can see people are just driving down the drive way.”

Among pickers there is a common theme — blueberry pie.

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