“Perfect season” for blueberry growers

Grower and co-shareholder of Jardins VMO in Drummondville, Jean Olsthoorn produced twice as much of this fruit this fall than during the same period last year.

I have never eaten so many blueberries in 16 years of production. Help when we had a less good year like 2021commented.

This perfect season it is explained by the ideal climatic conditions registered in 2022, indicates Vincent Godin, president of the Association of Blueberry Producers of Quebec.

There were no extremes, no gusts of extreme cold in the spring or prolonged heat waves in the summer., points out. The buds thus remained intact and were able to mature abundantly.

In addition, the disappointing 2021 harvests, a year marked by intense cold and the onset of heat waves, have set the stage for what Vincent Godin describes as an exceptional season.

The blueberry is a biennial plant, so a below average year is going to be followed by an above average year.points.

The last production record was recorded in 2016, with a total of 276 million pounds of blueberries.

Decreases the area of ​​​​organic crops

Despite the presence of ideal weather conditions, blueberry growers are experiencing increasing difficulties in the organic sector.

The pressure from harmful insects is growing and the tools we have to fight against them are quite limited.argues Vincent Godin.

A new technique to limit the presence of insects is to flood the fields late, but this method is accompanied by a drop in yields. These reach only 50% of those of conventional cultivation.

In recent years, the area of ​​land devoted to organic farming has gone from 30% to 22% of all blueberry crops, notes the Quebec Blueberry Growers Association.

The president of this association, however, specifies that it could be a return to the balance between supply and demand for organic red fruits.

There was a huge wave of conversions from 2014 to 2019, resulting in too much organic fruit on the market. With the conversions we are seeing, the market is stabilizing in relation to demandsays Mr. Godin.

Organic production remains high compared to other Quebec crops, he says.

With information from coralie laplante

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