Watch Out For Cheap Wild Blueberries After Unexpected Bumper Crop In Maine

Image courtesy of Karen_Chappell

Despite an ongoing drought in New England, Maine’s wild blueberry growers have found themselves with a bumper crop of berries on their hands this year. That could translate to cheaper prices for consumers cruising the grocery store for fresh produce.

Maine produces the most blueberries out of any state in the U.S. already, the Associated Press reports: the Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine Executive Director Nancy McBrady said the state will most likely hit its five-year average of about 93 million pounds of blueberries this summer. That’s due partly to innovations in irrigation in the last few years to combat the drought, she adds.

That’s not such great news for growers at the moment, as blueberry prices have already hit a bit of a low over the last few years, and having all that supply on hand could keep those prices down.

“This is proving to be a problem on the selling end of things,” Ed Flanagan, chief executive officer of Wyman’s of Maine, a major berry producer, told the AP. “There is a lot of supply being offered right now. And it’s weighing prices down.”

On the other hand, consumers could benefit if the bumper crop pushes market prices down beyond the current season. Wild blueberries are likely not as familiar to consumers as their plumper, cultivated cousins, but they’re often seen in the frozen food section.

Maine wild blueberry crop bigger than expected amid drought [Associated Press]

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