Best blueberry crop ever recorded this year

Three months of near-perfect weather have contributed to a bumper crop, 40 per cent of which comes from Abbotsford.

The blueberry crop in Abbotsford is expected to reach an all-time high.

The long stretch of warm weather has offered three months of near-perfect conditions for the blueberry crops of the Fraser Valley, and producers are expecting their best year ever.

Debbie Etsell, director of the B.C. Blueberry Council, said last year there were 95 million pounds of blueberries grown in B.C., and this year’s estimate is 105 million.

She said some of that is the result of increased planting that has been taking place since 2008, as prices increase. It has brought the total crop to 23,000 acres in the province, most of that between Richmond and Chilliwack, and she estimated 40 per cent of the crop is grown in the Abbotsford area.

But it is also the result of great weather. June was cold and wet, but the berries survived, and the crop has thrived in the sunshine.

“The weather was awesome,” said Etsell. “When June finished – we couldn’t have asked for a better July-August-September.”

The harvest was so bountiful that it was difficult to get enough farm labourers in the fields when they were needed, she said.

“It was tough for them to get the crop picked off right when they needed to,” she said.

There are still varieties of blueberries ripening and being picked for the fresh market.

Abbotsford is also home to packers and processors who produce blueberry jam, yogurt filling and other products. Mike Phillips of Berryhill Foods said the bumper crop was good for processors too.

“It’s a growing industry. Every year is a little better,” he said. “We had a good year. The quality was really good for the processed berries, and our grower support was very good.”

Etsell noted that the farm gate value of the blueberry crop was approximately $150 million last year, and she expects it to be at least that again this year.

“Abbotsford’s got a great industry in its own backyard.”

Just Posted

Cascades soccer teams prepare for playoffs

Men’s, women’s teams begin Canada West title drive

Abbotsford mom stuck in Africa over adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran have been waiting four weeks to bring son home

Abbotsford election turnout in line with past votes

Thirty-six per cent of eligible Abbotsford voters cast a ballot in Saturday’s municipal election

Chickens die in morning barn fire in Abbotsford

Structure broke out in flames on Leclair Street in Bradner

Abbotsford boy among winners of national recipe contest

Isaac, 10, heads to Ottawa to participate in Kid Food Nation Gala

VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Fraser Valley Throwdown 2018

Highlights from the annual crossfit event at Abbotsford Centre

WWE star Roman Reigns announces he has leukemia

Grappler formerly played in CFL

China opens mega-bridge linking Hong Kong to mainland

The $20 billion bridge took almost a decade to build while incurring major delays and cost overruns

Dangerous Cat 4 Hurricane Willa closing in on Mexico coast

Officials said 7,000 to 8,000 people were being evacuated from low-lying areas, mostly in Sinaloa state

Excessive speed named as cause of Taiwan train derailment

18 people were killed and at least 170 more were injured

Ovechkin has 4 points as Caps rough up Canucks 5-2

WATCH: Defending champs pick up impressive win in Vancouver

Vancouver mayoral hopefuly admits defeat, congratulates winner Kennedy Stewart

Ken Sim of the Non-Partisan Association apologized for the time it took to acknowledge Stewart won

Mental fitness questioned of man charged in Chilliwack River Valley shooting

Peter Kampos told his lawyer ‘his dreams are being stolen and turned into drugs’ at Surrey Pre-trial

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Most Read