What is in this article?:
- Georgia blueberries OK despite heavy rains
- Harvest strategy critical this year
- Georgia blueberris bloomed late because of the cool spring, but most farmers didn't see a large delay in their harvests.
- Despite getting more than 35 inches of rain this year so far, farmers avoided serious problems.
GEORGIA'S blueberry-producing region, in the south-central part of it, so far this year has received more than 35 inches of rain, or near the total amout for an average year. Despite the drenching, harvest and production are better than expected.
In the wake of a cold spring and more than 35 inches of rain, Georgia's blueberry crop has prevailed.
"There's always the challenges of growing blueberries," said Erick Smith, a blueberry expert and assistant professor at the University of Georgia's Tifton campus, "but I think for the most part, this year has been a pretty fair year for them."
Smith said this year's crop did not see any problems with bugs or birds, and the excess rainfall did not negatively affect the crop.
"I've seen lots of fruit go across the packing lines, and it looks like there has been a bit of success this year, even with the rains we've had," he said.
Blueberries that get too much water can crack or develop fungus, and there are many management problems that come with too much rain.
"One of the biggest problems that they have is if you end up picking fruit that's wet and taking it into the packing line, it can start the mycological problems," Smith said. "There can be fungus growing on them."