He said the fruit set had been improved this season thanks to better chill hours than previous years.
“So far I think everyone’s pleased with what they’re seeing in their field – at least that’s what I’m hearing. I don’t talk to everybody in the business, but that’s what the folks that I have talked to are saying,” Calfee said.
While Calfee said he didn’t have specific information on what the U.S. market was looking like, he highlighted Florida’s advantage as the first state to harvest its blueberry crop.
“Usually by the time we come in Chile’s production is dwindling or gone, and that fruit’s been on the boat for three weeks, so we come out with fruit that the customer can buy in the grocery store that was in the field maybe a day or two before,” he said.
“The quality’s usually good, the size is good, and usually our consumers are delighted to get those fresh blueberries.”
The vast majority of Florida’s blueberries are sold to the U.S. and Canadian markets, Calfee said.
The season typically runs through mid-May, but Calfee emphasized you could never really tell with blueberries ‘exactly what they’re going to do.’
He added the Florida Blueberry Growers Association was currently carrying out a survey in cooperation with producers to establish specific figures for things such as acerage, varietal types, and plant density.
Fresh Fruit Portal