"Challenging year" for blueberry crop has ups and downs

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DEBLOIS, Maine (WABI) - "The year is definitely later. Doesn't matter if it's blueberries or lobsters or potatoes, everything is running late this year."

Wyman's of Maine started their annual harvest of thousands of acres of blueberries on August 9th, more than a week later than usual.

"Everything we grow is a wild low bush blueberry."

Wyman's agronomist Bruce Hall says conditions haven't been ideal.

"It's been a challenging year. Started last winter, we didn't have a lot of snow cover on the fields. The snow really helps to insulate our buds that will become our flowers in the Spring."

Some fields faired better than others. Bruce says even a small change in elevation made a big difference.

"Coming into the Spring, we didn't really know what to expect. The Spring was cold, wet, damp. That was a challenge as well."

It wasn't all bad news, though.

"Fortunately the bees that we brought in this year, the honeybees, were incredibly strong. They did a marvelous job. We got very good pollination this Spring. Overall, we're looking at a fairly average crop. Nothing too big, nothing too little."

Blueberries will still be found as usual at supermarkets though Wyman's says they are changing their package design.

"We also have a couple of new fruit blends. A passion fruit mix and a blue razz. We're excited about those and hope consumers give those a try."