College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture

Ellsworth American interviews Yarborough for article on blueberry marketing efforts

The Ellsworth American spoke with David Yarborough, a professor in the School of Food and Agriculture and wild blueberry specialist with University of Maine Cooperative Extension, for the article, “Blueberry growers are looking at marketing for industry relief.” As a blueberry season shortened by bad weather and financial issues comes to an end, industry experts said a smaller crop has the potential to reduce the oversupply of berries that has put pressure on growers, according to the article. “The value of the blueberries has gone down for the past three years; 15 cents per pound each year,” Yarborough said. Because fewer berries were harvested, growers believe the price per pound paid to farmers will stabilize in 2018, the article states. “What we’re expecting is conjecture at this point. It should be a better price,” he said, adding that oversupply won’t necessarily be fixed with one season. Managers of Wild Blueberry Land in Columbia Falls are developing a nonprofit museum and website focused on the industry to help educate blueberry buyers about the product. The managers have secured a private donation for the project and have been working with volunteer students and faculty from UMaine, the article states. Mainebizcited the Ellsworth American article.