“Everyone is expecting a better crop this year,” said Carlos Garcia Salazar, a small-fruit agent for the Michigan State University Extension's West Central Region.
The area's fruit crop faced severe consequences last year when an early warm-up occurred, causing the plant maturation process to accelerate. A series of cold snaps then caused damage to many of the crops.
“The winter damage was minimal,” Salazar said of this year’s crop. “We don’t have problems like last year.”
According to Salazar, the weather significantly impacted the past several seasons of fruit crops.
“The past two years have been bad for our farmers,” he said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported blueberry production in Michigan totaled 87 million pounds in 2012. It dropped to 72 million pounds in 2011.
According to the MSU Extension service, the state is typically known to produce more than 100 million pounds of blueberries every year.
With temperatures expected to reach the 50s and 60s soon, Salazar said he is confident that farmers will begin to see positive results.
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