The association responsible for Island wild blueberry growers are evaluating the widespread damage caused by recent late season frosts.
The P.E.I. Wild Blueberry Growers Association (PEIWBGA) says the recent frost has been unfortunately timed with a full bloom stage in several fields across the province.
This combination can be devastating to fruit bud development.
Wild blueberry production is focused in the eastern and western ends of the Island, both of which were affected.
The industry has a significant impact on the Island rural economy, as 23.4 million pounds of wild blueberries were produced on P.E.I. last year alone.
In recent years, local and Maritime growers have experienced significant economic difficulty, mainly due to a record breaking decline in prices.
While a final total of the estimated crop damage is not yet apparent, a concerning level of crop yield reduction is emerging, which is alarming to the PEIWBGA and several other local small fruit industries as well.
Going forward the PEIWBGA will work with the P.E.I. Department of Agriculture and Fisheries as well as other agricultural organizations to discuss crop evaluation and recovery options as the damage becomes clearer.
The P.E.I. Wild Blueberry Growers Association is a producer organization, aimed on educational, promotional, research and industry advocacy activities to support and further the wild blueberry industry on P.E.I.