Canada Large portion of blueberry crop wiped out

22:09  11 july  2018
22:09  11 july  2018 Source:

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Two hard frosts in June have wiped out an estimated 70 per cent of Nova Scotia's wild blueberry crop and producers don't know if they'll even bother harvesting what little remains. "The prices that are offered for the fruit will determine whether it is economical to harvest it or not.

The killing frosts of June have been “disastrous” for blueberries and the families who grow them. In Nova Scotia, they say more than half of the crop has been lost and they'll be meeting with the province next week hoping for help.

a close up of a flower © Provided by HALIFAX - Blueberry growers in Nova Scotia say about 60 per cent of their wild crop was damaged by a killer frost in June.

Barron Blois, president of the Wild Blueberry Producers Association of Nova Scotia, says the estimate is based on reports from growers who've been inspecting fields that normally yield as much as 60 million pounds of the fruit annually.

The Kennetcook-based farmer says government disaster relief cheques won't be distributed until after provincial authorities have completed damage assessments, leaving many farmers facing large bills and limited income.

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Last week's deep freeze in the Southeast appears to have nearly wiped out Georgia's blueberries and South Carolina's peaches and seriously damaged a number of other crops like strawberries and apples.

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The overnight temperatures on June 3 varied around the province, but Environment Canada said record lows were set as the Annapolis Valley saw temperatures drop to almost -2 C, marking a huge shift from the 28 C high three days earlier.

The precise value of the lost crop is difficult to estimate because the price per pound hasn't been established, but Blois says he's already heard that some processing plants won't be opening due to the shortage of blueberries.

He says growers, harvesters, truckers and plant workers are all finding the loss of the crop "is a significant issue," as blueberries are the largest agricultural export in the province.

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