Record-breaking heat in May could impact NC’s blueberry crop

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Excessive heat in May appears to have taken quite a toil on North Carolina’s supply of blueberries.

While this year’s crop may be smaller than previous years, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says last month’s weather shouldn’t have a major impact on the quality of the fruit which thrives in the sandy soil across the Cape Fear region.

“Farmers are always at the mercy of weather, and this May was one of the hottest on record,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “But the quality of the crop is still expected to be good.”

Consumers who wish to buy local blueberries in retail stores should look for the ‘Got To Be NC’ label.

In anticipation of blueberry season, the town of Burgaw will host the N.C. Blueberry Festival on Saturday.

The NC Department of Agriculture will also host two Blueberry Days at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh on June 20 and the Robert G. Shaw Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Colfax on June 21.

North Carolina is the eighth-largest producer of blueberries in the nation. About 6,300 acres of blueberries are grown in the state. In 2017, blueberry production was valued at $53.8 million.

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