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US Blueberry Production Exceeds 320,000 Tons

November 23, 2023

With the recent cold weather in North America marking the end of the highbush blueberry season, the North American Blueberry Council has released its annual production report. Unveiled at this autumn’s Blueberry Summit, the report presents a comprehensive overview of blueberry production in 2023, along with forecasts for 2024.

The United States has maintained its position as the global leader in blueberry production in 2023, with cultivation spanning 38 states in four primary geographical regions: the Pacific Northwest, South, Midwest and Northeast. Notably, 10 states account for over 98% of the commercially produced blueberries in the United States: California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon and Washington.

According to the report, the United States produced 711.2 million pounds of blueberries in 2023, equivalent to 322,595 metric tons. This figure closely mirrors the production recorded in 2022. The report predicts a potential increase in production for 2024, although specific figures may be subject to revisions based on various factors, including weather conditions.

Florida’s fresh blueberry production saw a reduction in 2023, with a final output of 7,031 metric tons. However, an increase is anticipated in 2024, bringing fresh blueberry production back to levels witnessed over the past decade.

Meanwhile, blueberry production in Oregon, Washington and California saw modest declines in 2023. Oregon yielded 61,235 metric tons, of which fresh blueberries comprised approximately 45.0%. The output for Washington state reached 74,842 metric tons, with fresh blueberries making up 31.0% of the total. In California, the total production was 28,848 metric tons, of which fresh blueberries accounted for 81.1%. The report forecasts growth across all three states in 2024 and predicts that blueberry production will reach the highest levels in a decade.

By contrast, blueberry production in Georgia, North Carolina and Michigan saw substantial increases in 2023, resulting in Georgia and North Carolina achieving their highest levels in a decade. This growth is expected to remain stable throughout 2024. Fresh blueberries constituted a large portion of total production, accounting for 81.4% of the 43,998 metric tons harvested in Georgia and 82.3% of the 22,317 metric tons recorded for North Carolina. Meanwhile, Michigan produced 36,287 metric tons of blueberries, with fresh blueberries making up 56.3% of the total.

Blueberry production remained relatively stable in Indiana and New Jersey in 2023, with similar outputs forecast for 2024. New Jersey’s total production was 17,237 metric tons, with fresh blueberries accounting for 78.9%. In Indiana, output reached 1,588 metric tons, 91.4% of which were fresh blueberries.

Image: Unsplash

Data source: NABC Crop Report 2023

This article was based on a Chinese article. Read the original article.

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