Last year in late April, the USDA reported Chilean fruit shipped to Philadelphia ports selling for $12-14 for 30-50s, $10-12 for 56s and $8-10 for 60s.
Overall, Georgia growers expect to ship 2.96 million cartons, similar to last season, Lane said.
Georgia’s deal normally runs to mid-August.
Buyers should expect plenty of promotional opportunities to market a predicted largest ever blueberry crop.
Georgia growers expect a record blueberry crop.
Mario Flores, director of blueberry product management for Naples, Fla.-based Naturipe Farms LLC’s Grand Junction, Mich., office, said the outlook is that Georgia could potentially produce a record crop of 70 million pounds, up from last season’s 56 million to 58 million pounds.
During the start of the southern highbush deal, Flores said growers expect to pack in 6-ounce packs and upsize to the pints during early May when promotable volume hits.
As the Southern highbush deal declines in late May, Flores said buyers can expect a small lull before the rabbit eye crop begins in early June.
Flores said a combination of the crop receiving favorable growing conditions with few weather problems, solid bee pollination and increased acreage should help boost production and make for strong retail promotions.
“Things are looking very nice and it’s shaping up to be a very good crop this year in Georgia,” Flores said in late April.
“There will be very good promotional volumes. The pint versus the 6-ounce pack will be the primary pack during the rabbit eye season as well. I think Georgia will contribute to a very good overall domestic blueberry season.”
Keith Mixon, president and chief executive officer of SunnyRidge Farm Inc., Winter Haven, Fla., said he expects the Florida, Georgia and North Carolina crops to hit their windows on time.
“Georgia will have a good crop this year,” he said in mid-April.
“In the end, May will not have as much volume. Compared to last year, when there was such a big wave of the Florida, Georgia and North Carolina crops coming on together, my estimates are there will be less volume for the first three weeks of May than there was last year.”
Mixon said SunnyRidge’s Georgia Southern highbush production should produce large volume until late May, when the rabbit eye crop is expected to start, and run through early July until rains send most fruit to the processed markets.