Weather improves for New Jersey's fruit crops

05/26/2011 04:10:00 PM
Andy Nelson

“There’s been a lot of blossom thinning on peaches so I think the size will be good,” Frecon said. “There’s more disease pressure when it’s wet, but I think it’s being managed with timely sprays.”

Casella agreed.

“It’s important to see how the weather plays out — they are susceptible to disease,” he said. “Right now, things are looking good.”

A few peaches will be harvested before the Fourth of July, but for the most part, the deal will begin in earnest after the holiday, Casella said.

Blueberries

Tim Wetherbee, sales manager for Diamond Blueberry Inc., Hammonton, N.J., said in mid-May that everything was on schedule for a good New Jersey blueberry season.

“We had a good pollinization period, the timing is normal — we should start in mid-June,” he said. “Everything so far is pretty positive.”

Diamond expects to market 850-900 acres of Jersey blueberries this season, about the same as last year.

Blueberry-growing weather in New Jersey has been close to perfect this year, said Nick Giordano, vice president of Fresh Wave Fruit & Produce, Vineland, N.J.

“The set was nice, and the pollinization has been wonderful,” Giordano said May 19. “I was out there a week ago, and the bees were everywhere.”

Fresh Wave expects to begin shipping about June 15, right on time.

New Jersey growers should begin harvesting blueberries in the first or second week of June, Casella said.

“From what I hear, it looks to be a good crop,” he said.

Blueberries bloomed about April 23, and when flowers were out, warm, sunny days were there to greet bees, Neary said.

“It was one of the best pollinizations we’ve had in awhile,” he said.

Sunny Valley expects to market about 750,000 pint-equivalent flats of blueberries this year, similar to last year, Neary said.


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