LAKELAND (AP) — About 20 percent of Florida’s blueberry crop was damaged in February by freezing weather, but growers are still hopeful for a profitable season.
The Ledger reports that a shortage of Florida blueberries combined with even larger damage to the Georgia blueberry crop could push up farm prices for Florida’s crop by 20 percent. Blueberry growers say the increase in the value of the crop will offset the loss — and that demand for the fruit just keeps increasing.
Florida is the sole U.S. supplier of fresh blueberries between late March and early May. During that short window growers can generally make a profit. By May, other states begin supplying the U.S. blueberry market and push the farm price below the break-even point in Florida.