Maine Public interviews Yarborough about blueberry production
Maine Public talked with David Yarborough for a story about Maine wild blueberry producers slashing production to survive. There’s been too much of a good thing and prices are plummeting, according to the story. Yarborough, a wild blueberry specialist with the School of Food and Agriculture and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, says something has to give. According to the article, 99 percent of Maine’s wild blueberry crop is sold frozen, and strong harvests the last three growing cycles in Maine, coupled with record harvests in Canada, have contributed to a glut of berries. “Growers are going to definitely have to make some reductions and changes because certainly you can’t go on very long spending more money than you’re making,” he says. The price per pound paid to blueberry harvesters has decreased from $1.07 in 2007 to 46 cents in 2015. “There may be some fields that they allow to go fallow for a few years, or there may be some people that get out of production,” Yarborough says, adding that for consumers, there’s never been a better time to buy the berries.