Bad news for pie lovers.
Maine’s wild blueberry crop is likely to be much smaller this year than in recent summers because the industry is contending with troubles such as disease and a lack of pollination.
The New England state is the wild blueberry capital of the U.S. In recent years, crop sizes have soared and prices have plummeted. The crop grew a little less than one percent last year to almost 102 million pounds (46 million kilograms), while prices hit a 10-year low of 27 cents per pound to farmers.
University of Maine horticulture professor David Yarborough says that is changing this year. He says “mummy berry” disease and other factors could cut the crop as much as 36 percent this summer.
Because oversupply has been driving down prices in recent years, the farmers had already decreased their efforts with the fruit crop.
Yarborough said a shortage of bees and other pollinators along with the lack of rain have also devastated the crop.
— Associated Press