“You can talk with a county agent riding the dirt,” Cornelius said. “All the sudden, he’ll see a 25-acre patch of blueberries. This deal is really growing.”
California is also exploding in blueberry production.
According to the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, Folsom, Calif., the Golden State increased its production from 4.9 million pounds in 2004 to 42 million pounds in 2011.
At 33 million pounds, California is now the sixth biggest fresh blueberry producing state, exceeding North Carolina’s 29 million pounds but comparable to Michigan, Georgia and Oregon, which in 2011 each produced 31 million to 36 million pounds, according to the council and U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics.
The production bonanza is helping retailers merchandise more late spring and early summer berries.
Combined with Florida, California and North Carolina production, growers are helping move the traditional supply curve peak from July and August to May and June.
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