Maine’s Blueberries Headed for Big Crop Despite Dry Weather

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -
A blueberry harvester makes its way through a field near Appleton, Maine, in July 2015. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, files)
A blueberry harvester makes its way through a field near Appleton, Maine, in July 2015. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, files)

Maine’s wild blueberry crop is headed for another big year despite dry weather that has caused some nervousness in the state’s blueberry barrens.

Maine is by far the biggest wild blueberry producer in the United States, and the industry is coming off back-to-back bumper crops of over 100 million pounds.

The Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine says this year’s total will likely be closer to 90 million. That’s still much more than the crop averaged a decade ago.

The big crops come at a time when prices for blueberries have been somewhat depressed. Frozen wild blueberries dropped from 90 cents per pound in 2011 to 60 cents per pound in 2014.

Meanwhile, small, family-run cultivated blueberry farms aren’t faring as well in parts of New Hampshire taxed by drought.