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September 21, 2016

High supply and weak Canadian dollar worry Maine blueberry growers

Photo / Lori Valigra
Photo / Lori Valigra
This year's wild blueberry crop in New England weathered the recent drought.

Although wild blueberry lovers might welcome the news that this year's crop wasn't affected by the recent drought, growers of the berry are facing another season of high supply and the low prices that come along with it.

"This is proving to be a problem on the selling end of things," Ed Flanagan, Wyman's of Maine CEO, told The Associated Press. "There is a lot of supply being offered right now. And it's weighing prices down."

But high supply from back-to-back seasons of near record-breaking crop yields in 2014 and 2015, coupled with another heavy season this year, is only part of the problem that New England berry growers are contending with.

The AP reported that the weaker Canadian dollar has dropped prices for berries grown by our neighbors to the North, and in April the government of New Brunswick announced that it would be opening 4,000 acres of public land for blueberry cultivation.

"We're still producing a terrific, healthy crop, but the supply challenge will persist," Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine Executive Director Nancy McBrady told the AP.

Read more

As Maine's labor supply shrinks, its reliance on migrant workers grows

Drought spurs USDA aid to Maine's farmers

Poland Spring seeing impact from drought

Feds declare five Maine counties disaster areas

USDA: We'll take another 3.8 million pounds of Maine blueberries, please

New Brunswick looks to dethrone Maine from top seed in blueberries

Wild Blueberry Commission asks feds to buy surplus

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