Ellsworth American interviews Yarborough about blueberry business

The Ellsworth American interviewed David Yarborough, a wild blueberry specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and a professor in the UMaine School of Food and Agriculture, for a report on the production and value of blueberries. Both production and value of the crop declined in 2017 — the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported a drop in production of 33 percent and a drop in price of 2 cents per pound — and this foreshadows further declines to come, according to The Ellsworth American. Factors such as the weather, a shortage of pollination and the presence of mummy berry disease, which kills berries and causes them to shrivel and harden, contributed to the decline, Yarborough said. To address these obstacles, 11,000 new beehives were put in place in Maine to increase pollination, but other persisting factors mean that might not be enough to boost production to the desired level. “There was a big frost in Nova Scotia, and in some of the northern townships in Maine. We have to see how many of those acres can be salvaged,” said Yarborough. Mainebiz also reported on the blueberry business, quoting Yarborough.