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Rainy June Disrupts Georgia Blueberry Season


7/5/2013 2:28:28 PM


Copious amounts of rain last month affected this year's blueberry season in Georgia. Rain that didn't seem to let up led to a dip in fresh blueberry volume coming out of the State in June.

"We're probably between 20 and 30 percent off of the volume we projected for fresh blueberries," said Joe Cornelius, a blueberry grower in Georgia and chairman of the Georgia Blueberry Commission. He attributed the dip in volume to the many days of rain growers had to contend with last month. With most of the days available for harvesting filled with rain, both volume and quality suffered.

"When you get that much water, there's not much you can do with it," said Cornelius. There are still a couple of weeks of picking left this season, but volumes will likely stay down for the remainder of the harvest. Prices, despite lower quantities of fruit, have not shot up, something which Cornelius thinks is due to the less-than-ideal quality of blueberries.

"Prices have been down a little the last couple of weeks," said Cornelius. "They've gone down to match the quality of fruit, but one good thing out of all of this is that demand has still remained high." He attributed persistently robust demand to consumers who crave the health benefits of fresh blueberries. While that's been one of the bright spots this season, he noted that the weather really has been the determining factor in how this season has played out.

"The weather has been a major headache for us this season," said Cornelius. "It's been a real struggle since the start of June."


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