The Free Press quotes Yarborough in report on economics of blueberries
The Free Press quoted David Yarborough, a wild blueberry specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, in a report on blueberries in the U.S. economy. While Chinese tariffs are impacting some agricultural markets, 75 percent of blueberries produced in the United States are sold domestically, according to the article. Last, year, 2 million pounds of wild blueberries were sold to China. This year, only 75,000 pounds have been sold so far. But local growers are not affected because they sell the berries to producers, who then move them farther along in the market. Last year’s price for wild blueberries also was 37 percent less than in 2016 and the lowest since 1985, which Yarborough attributed to a surplus from previous crops still present in the market. Weather conditions have led some in the industry to predict a lower harvest this year, but the crop size and price will not be available until the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service publishes a report in June 2019. “Until then it is all speculation,” said Yarborough.