Florida Blueberry Harvest Window Extended This Year

Web AdminBlueberries, Florida

By Clint Thompson

Florida’s blueberry harvest season is under way and projected to last well into May, says grower Ryan Atwood. The Christmas freeze event and subsequent sub-freezing temperatures in early January contributed to the state having a longer harvest window this year.

Florida blueberry harvests

“It looks like a good crop. It’s pretty spread out and not very concentrated. All over the state it’s spread out due to the weather we had this winter,” said Atwood, a producer in Mount Dora, Florida who manages another 350 acres and is part-owner of the largest packing house in the Southeast United States. “We had those (multiple days) of freezing temperatures during Christmas time, and then we had a freeze like a week later. We had some flowers starting to come out, so they came out in early January and then I had other flowers that didn’t come out until early February. It just elongated the crop.

“I see (harvest season) going into May. That just turns into a long harvest.”

Whether that elongated harvest windows hurts or helps producers remains to be seen. Other factors could impact the marketing window for Florida farmers.

“It just depends on the market. It depends on Georgia’s crop, obviously and where they come in versus us. It depends on Mexico’s crop and where they come in versus us. How do those three locations overlap?” Atwood said. “I’ve been to Georgia and driven around, I know what they have. I hear rumors and whispers on Mexico and them being later; late April and into May. I don’t know how much volume that means. I’m not that familiar with it. But it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out.”