Wild Blueberry Newsletter, July 2018

Wild Blueberry Newsletter header graphic, text and a photo of blueberries and leaves


July 2018


Maine Wild Blueberry Crop 2017

The 2017 wild blueberry crop for Maine, as reported by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service on June 25, 2018, totaled 67.8 million pounds, which is considerably smaller than 101.8 million pounds we had the year before.  Maine has had over 100 million pounds each year from 2014 to 2016 and has not had such a low crop since 2005.  The acres harvested in 2017 also decreased, from 23,100 in 2016 to 17,000 in 2017. The Maine slice of the blueberry pie decreased from 9% to 7% of the total North American Crop.

Production figure details for wild and cultivated blueberries in the United States may be found in the USDA Non-Citrus Fruit and Nut 2017 Summary, June 2018, available as a PDF:

Canadian Wild Blueberry Crop

The wild blueberry crop in Canada was 206 million pounds, making this a much smaller crop than the last five years.  Quebec had 80 million pounds, down from their largest crop of 126 million pounds last year.   New Brunswick had 53, Nova Scotia 50 and PEI 23.4 million pounds all down considerably for the past three years of bumper crops in that region.

North American Blueberry Crop 2017

Maine produces 7% of North American Blueberries, as opposed to higher values in previous years.
Figure 1. The Canadian slice of the pie decreased from 26% in 2016 to 21% in 2017.  Cultivated production increased from 65% in 2016 to 72% in 2017.

Cultivated Blueberries

Total cultivated production in North America reported by the North American Blueberry Council for 2017 was 431.5 million pounds fresh and 259.4 million pounds processed for a total crop of 690.9 million pounds. This crop was considerably smaller than 766 million pounds in 2016 and only 37% of it was processed whereas in 2016 over 50% of the cultivated crop was processed.

In the past eight years, the number of acres of cultivated blueberries has doubled, so more production is expected in future years. However, fewer acres were harvested in 2017, acres decreased from 92,400 in 2016 to 86,400 in 2017.

Wild and Cultivated Blueberries Processed in North America 2012-2017

Wild and Cultivated Blueberries in Maine have decreased in production since 2016.
Figure 2. The total North American blueberry crop in 2017 was 274 wild + 691 cultivated = 965 million pounds.

Maine Wild Blueberry Growers Association

Greg Bridges wants to establish a Maine Wild Blueberry Growers Association.  If you are interested you can contact him on Facebook by typing Maine Wild Blueberry Growers Association in the search box.  You may also mail him at 114 U.S. Hwy. 1, Baring, Maine 04694 or call Greg at 207.214.6664.

Sincerely,

Dave

David E. Yarborough
Extension Blueberry Specialist


Wild blueberry fact sheets, past newsletters, contacts, resource links, calendar of events, and more can be found on the Cooperative Extension’s Maine Wild Blueberries website.


Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.

© 2018

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