Weather changes takes toll on blueberry crop

The standard season is from Might to June with the height round Memorial Day weekend.
(Photograph: Helen Holt/WWAY)

BURGAW, NC (WWAY) — Do you know southeastern North Carolina makes up ninety five% of the blueberry crop within the state? That may be a lot, however sadly Mom Nature threw a couple of curve balls making this season not an excellent one.

A light winter brought on the blooming course of to start weeks forward of schedule.

“Strawberries have been considerably early, blueberries have been 10 days early, and blackberries have been about 10 days early,” Cal Lewis, Lewis Farms proprietor, stated.

In mid March, a stretch of chilly temperatures took its toll on the blueberries.

“It took out a good portion of the North Carolina crop in all probability about forty five to fifty five%, someplace in that vary,” Lewis stated.

Lewis stated his early varieties noticed the most important hit whereas mid and late varieties did okay.

“Improve costs made up for a number of the income loss by growers however not all of it,” Lewis stated.

He’s a Pender County native, and regardless of a troublesome season, he says this county is the guts of blueberries in North Carolina.

“The blueberry pageant brings consideration to what growers do right here and what they work a lifetime to supply,” Lewis stated.

The standard season is from Might to June with the height round Memorial Day weekend. In order the harvest course of wraps up for the season, the arduous work doesn’t simply finish.

“As quickly because the final pickers comes by way of on these bushes, we are available and trim them by mowing them, after which within the winter we domesticate and prune, and naturally later a part of summer time we’ve to fertilize the blueberries to develop the vegetative a part of it, and we now have to herbicide the center to eliminate the grass and weeds,” Lewis stated.

The Ogden stand closes Saturday, June 17. Lewis says they usually don’t shut for the season till July four weekend, however because the crop was early that has pressured them to shut sooner than regular.

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