Maine agriculture officials say the growers in the No. 1 wild-blueberry state suffered another bad year, but there are reasons to believe the troubled industry is about to turn a long-awaited corner.
University of Maine horticulture professor David Yarborough says Maine farmers collected about 57 million pounds of the wild fruit in 2018, down nearly 11 million pounds from the previous year. He says prices also do not appear to have improved too significantly from recent years in which they lagged below history levels.
But Yarborough and some members of the industry also believe there’s reason for optimism. Excess inventory has held back blueberry prices in recent years, and Yarborough says that is likely to start changing in 2019 because of two straight years of modest harvest sizes.
Prices to consumers have held fairly steady.