Hurricanes Made This Year’s Harvest a Trying Time for Some Growers
by PAUL CATALA 2023 Blueberry Roundup – Central Florida Ag News
During the past two years, Florida’s blueberry harvests weren’t great, but they weren’t
necessarily bad either. About 21 million to 21.5 million pounds were harvested from the
2021 and 2022 seasons on Florida’s approximately 5,500 acres of blueberry farmland.
But for the 2023 season, from the start of March through early May, it was a bit more
dreary as only 15.66 million pounds of blueberries were harvested from Florida farms –
down about 5.8 million pounds.
There are about 900 blueberry farms across Florida that employ approximately 2,500
workers and generate an annual economic impact of about $295 million.
Doug Phillips, UF/IFAS Blueberry Extension Coordinator, says the lower harvest
numbers are significant but not severe. He says a number of blueberry farms in South
Florida reported lower numbers due to Hurricane Ian, which ravaged southwest Florida
farms in late September of 2022.
Read more here https://centralfloridaagnews.com/2023-blueberry-roundup/