Georgia, whose season normally runs through early July, is forecast to ship 55 million-60 million total pounds this year, up from 39 million pounds last season.
Last year, 56% of Georgia’s blueberries, 22 million pounds, went to the fresh market, comparable to other years.
Though shippers earlier in the season had reported prices exceeding $30 for flats of 12 4.4-ounce cups with lids, prices in late April began falling as more volume hit the market.
On April 27, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported flats of 12 4.4-ounce cups with lids medium-large selling for $26-28 with occasional higher previous commitments. Last year in mid-April, flats were $22, falling in late April to $16.50-18.
In California, harvest is expect to begin in mid-May, and early estimates call for a significant increase in production, up to 35 million pounds, compared to 23 million pounds last season. California’s entire crop goes to the fresh market, but Flores said production estimates could drop 10%
Michigan, which begins harvest in July, should produce similar volume as last year, Flores said.
According to industry numbers, the state picked 100 million pounds, of which about half went to the fresh market.