Farmers seeing recent hail storm’s impact on blueberry crop

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IVANHOE, NC (WWAY) — This year’s blueberry season began with a devastating hail storm in the state.

Farmer Willie Moore estimates the unexpected storm affected about 40 percent of North Carolina’s blueberry crop.

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Moore owns several farms in Pender, Bladen, Duplin, and Sampson counties. His Ivanhoe farm was gearing up to harvest four million pounds of blueberries this year. After the storm left crater-like marks called hail scars on some of the berries, he’s lost almost a quarter of that harvest.

“North Carolina was setting up to have a record crop this year,” Moore said. “Because the winter was a good winter, we had a nice spring, everybody was looking forward to a good crop this year.”

Moore said he’s one of the lucky ones. He has friends four to five miles away who said the hail stripped bushes of fruit and leaves, leaving them with nothing.