El Niño Impact on Blueberry Crop

Kelsey Fry Berries


This year’s Florida blueberry season had a unique challenge to overcome. The unusually warm winter combined with an El Niño climate phase of cloudy and cool conditions in early spring resulted in harvest of the 2016 Florida blueberry crop hitting its peak approximately three weeks later than normal.

Gary England, a multi-county Extension agent, says by the time that Florida growers started harvesting significant quantities of fruit, production from other states entered the marketplace, drastically reducing price and demand for Florida product.

England explains how the weather conditions resulted in very low winter chill accumulation that affected bloom and fruit set.

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