Maine blue­berry har­vest down as in­dus­try looks for buy­ers

Medicine Hat News - - LIFESTYLES -

PORT­LAND, Maine A trade group says Maine’s wild blue­berry crop fell sharply this sum­mer to land be­low 100 mil­lion pounds (45 mil­lion kilo­grams) for the first time in four years.

Wild Blue­berry Com­mis­sion of Maine ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Nancy McBrady says pre­lim­i­nary in­dus­try fig­ures show the crop com­ing in at about 65 mil­lion pounds (29 mil­lion kilo­grams). It’s more than enough for Maine to re­main far and away the wild blue­berry cap­i­tal of the coun­try, but a sharp drop from re­cent years.

McBrady says the crop is down be­cause of bad grow­ing con­di­tions and lack of farm­ing ef­fort. Sur­plus sup­plies of blue­ber­ries from re­cent years have mo­ti­vated some grow­ers to scale back. Prices are also down.

The in­dus­try is look­ing for new buy­ers to help im­prove prices. Oakhurst Dairy plans to is­sue wild blue­berry milk in the spring.

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