Warm weather could force Florida blueberries to go to waste

POLK CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – While many people visit Florida for the warm weather, the unseasonably warm winter this year has been detrimental for the blueberry season and local growers.

“The weather was a little too warm this year this year to force our blueberries into dormancy naturally. When a blueberry goes dormant, it naturally wants to reproduce, and make more blueberries,” said Ben Futch, with Futch Family Farms. As a result, “Our crop has taken a very long time to produce and mature.”

“The weather was a little too warm this year this year to force our blueberries into dormancy naturally. When a blueberry goes dormant, it naturally wants to reproduce, and make more blueberries,” said Ben Futch, with Futch Family Farms. As a result, “Our crop has taken a very long time to produce and mature.”

Futch said the season is later than he has ever seen in his ten years of growing blueberries. “We have just now began to start picking at our peak of the season. The normal blueberry season in Florida lasts from about March until May. Now here it is already into May, and we’re just now starting to pick good,” said Futch.

With the season off to such a late start Futch says Marketers who would typically buy his crop, have already moved on to other states. “I am seeing a large amount of fruit that’s not going to make it to the commercial market. This is because the commercial market has moved on to Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, and other states.”

He worries now that the blueberries are finally ready, tens of thousands of pounds of blueberries will end up drying out and rotting. “All across the state of Florida is in danger. Not just mine. Me alone, I could account for about 50-60,000 pounds going to sit. If the citizens don’t know it’s here, it’s going to go to waste,” said Futch.

He said people can help by going to their local blueberry farmer to pick their own. Futch plans to open for “You Pick It” starting Saturday morning, until all of the blueberries are gone. He said people can get a 2-pound bucket of blueberries for $20.

Futch Family Farms is located in Polk City: 12500 Old Grade Rd, Polk City, FL 33868. Phone number: (863) 604-4607

WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON RIGHT NOW: 

 

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s