“The recent weather we’ve had has been like no other,” Clinard said. “The big quote around here this season is that Mother Nature substituted March for January this year and January for March. It’s really like no other crop we’ve seen in the past but we think the crop size should be good. The cool weather isn’t hurting anything and we expect a normal harvest through April.”
In late March, Colorful Harvest LLC, Salinas, Calif., also began harvesting small volumes from its Florida acreage.
Doug Ranno, chief operating officer and managing partner, said quality looks high.
“The cold weather will mean blueberry promotions will come a little later,” Ranno said March 26. “It will be a fight for volume at the beginning of the deal. Retailers need to be ready to promote during the first sign of warmer weather.”
Florida growers plan to harvest a record 25 million pounds from 5,000 acres, up from the 18.5 million pounds growers harvested from 4,500 acres last season, Braswell said.
Florida normally harvests through mid- to late May.