Maine blueberry crop falls with disease, lack of pollination

FILE - In this July 27, 2012 file photo, wild blueberries are ready for harvesting in Warren, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

 

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s wild blueberry crop is likely to be much smaller this year than in recent summers because the industry is contending with troubles such as disease and a lack of pollination.

The state is the wild blueberry capital of the U.S. In recent years, crop sizes have soared and prices have plummeted. The crop grew a little less than one percent last year to almost 102 million pounds, while prices hit a 10-year low of 27 cents per pound to farmers.

But University of Maine horticulture professor David Yarborough says that is changing this year. He says “mummy berry” disease and other factors could cut the crop as much as 36 percent this summer.

Another factor influencing crop size is that farming effort appears to be down this year.

 

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.