PORTLAND, Maine — Federal data released this week confirmed that Maine’s wild blueberry growers had a strong season in 2021.
Maine is the only state with commercial-scale wild blueberry growers in the U.S. Growers said last year that they felt the crop bounced back from a disappointing 2020, when they harvested less than 48 million pounds.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released data on Monday that showed the crop was 105 million pounds, the Portland Press Herald reported. Good weather conditions helped growers, who struggled with drought in 2020.
The blueberries also gained value. They were worth nearly 78 cents per pound, which resulted in a total value of more than $80 million, which was almost three times more than 2020, the Press Herald reported.
The blueberries are mostly frozen and are used extensively in frozen and processed food products, such as smoothie mixes. They are among Maine’s most important food products, along with lobsters and potatoes.