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NJ’s Blueberry Industry is Fine, Despite Problems in Other States

Tasty blueberries
Sophie Bengtsson, ThinkStock

While some other states’ blueberry crops are having their share of problems, New Jersey’s berries are having another great season.

Blueberry crops and prices are down in Maine and Canada. And growers in the Carolinas were hit with some freezes. But Kurt Alstede, of Alstede farms in Chester, says many of those problematic berries are wild, “low bush” blueberries, unlike Jersey’s “high bush” variety.

“It is a very different blueberry from what we grow in New Jersey,” he says.

“In New Jersey … they are hand-harvested, fresh market, large blueberries that you see at your farm store and that you see in the grocery store. Those are what we are growing in New Jersey.”

Alstede says Jersey blueberries are doing fine.

“Fortunately, we had good dry weather, with good pollination activity with local honeybees at the right times to set a nice crop.”

“We have over 9,100 acres of high bush blueberries in New Jersey. Canada, ironically, for high bush blueberries is one of our biggest export customers for New Jersey blueberries.”

New Jersey ranks third in the country right now for blueberry production.

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