The overnight lows left some blueberry farms with plenty of damage during a season that had been expected to be the best in years. Some farms saw up to 90 percent damage to their crops.
Local farmers said the combination of warm winter months with the recent frosts was too much for certain varieties of blueberry bushes to handle.
“The real situation was a month ago when we had that beautiful weather, when everyone was just so happy,” Pick-N-Patch owner Sam Erwin said. “I’m going this is horrible weather. It brought all the fruit out early. “
The more advanced the blueberries are, the more that is at stake when a freeze warning goes into effect.
“Some of the earlier varieties were hurt a lot more,” Erwin said. “We have some that were almost 100 percent lost.”
But, Erwin also grows late varieties of blueberries on forty acres of land. Those blueberry bushes fared much better with the low temperatures.
“Looks like we are going to have a decent crop for “you-pick” and local market,” he said.
And, that is important news in a town where blueberries are synonymous with the summer months.
“We were all looking at an earlier season anyway and I think these late varieties are going to be on at the normal time,” Erwin said.
The average last frost in the area is around the first week of May. Erwin said he knows he is not in the clear just yet.
“About 15 years ago, I lost most of my crop on Fathers’ Day,” Erwin said. “So, you don’t have a crop here until you pick blueberries. That is when you know for sure you are going to have a crop.”