The top 10 states in the United States for cultivating blueberries include a broad variety of weather and geographies. The fruit’s supposed health benefits are making its cultivation a more profitable proposition for farmers in all of them.
The worldwide market for blueberries has exploded in the last 10 years, with output almost tripling in the United States alone.
The rising public knowledge and interest in the various health advantages linked to the berry is undoubtedly the key force behind the fruit crop’s appeal.
Blueberries are high in anti-oxidant phytonutrients that help quench the activity of free radicals in the body’s cells, according to USDA studies.
Free radicals are thought to have a role in the development of cancer as well as cardiovascular issues.
Washington is now the US blueberry capital, with nearly 96.1 million pounds harvested, while New York rounds out the top 10 with 1.6 million pounds.
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1.1.6 Million Pounds of Blueberries Produced in New York
New York produced 1.6 million pounds of blueberries this year on around 700 acres of blueberry-growing land, making it the 10th most productive blueberry-producing state in the US.
However, owing to additional bushes reaching full production as a consequence of more favorable weather conditions, these numbers are likely to increase.
New York blueberries are unusually large and delicious due to the state’s summer temperature and regular rainfall. The harvest season lasts around 10 weeks, with the peak being between late July and early August.
2. Mississippi produced 8.5 million pounds of blueberries.
The majority of Mississippi’s blueberry acreage is located in the state’s southern regions. Blueberries are native to locations with circumstances similar to those found in Mississippi’s southeast, such as pine woods, which explains the high abundance.
One of the most significant natural species farmed commercially in the state is the ‘Rabbit-Eye.’ This specific cultivar yields high-quality fruits and is well-suited to the growing conditions in the area.
Another explanation for the high concentration of blueberry land in the southern portion of the state is that numerous researchers working in and around that area developed region-specific blueberry cultivars and production approaches.
The state of Mississippi produced 8.5 million pounds of blueberries last year.
3. Florida – Blueberry Production of 16 Million Pounds
There was almost little commercial production of blueberry in Florida 20 years ago, save for those cultivated on tiny plots for local markets. Florida produced 16 million pounds of blueberries last year, placing the state among the top blueberry producers in the country.
The introduction of novel ‘Southern Highbush’ types created by the University of Florida has expanded blueberry output in Florida in recent years. These kinds are high-bearers of fruit and need just a few hours of chilling to develop.
As customer demand for the crop has grown over time, this citrus-growing state has been inspired to encourage the development of another kind of bright fruit that grows closer to the ground.
4. North Carolina produced 48.5 million pounds of blueberries.
Despite the fact that large-scale commercial production is restricted to around eight or nine counties within the state’s southeast corner, North Carolina has routinely ranked among the top ten blueberry-producing states in the US.
Blueberries, on the other hand, may be grown everywhere in the state provided the right blueberry species are produced and the proper soil adjustments are performed.
Many parts in the state’s southeast are known for their “salt and pepper” soil types, which are generally considered poor land for most crops. This sort of soil, on the other hand, is ideal for commercial blueberry producers. The state produced 48.5 million pounds of blueberries last year.
5. California produced 53.4 million pounds of blueberries.
In the state of California used to be very hard to find commercial blueberry farms, but that has changed.
The amazing California blueberry boom that has happened over the previous decade was fueled by technological breakthroughs and adventurous producers. Blueberries were historically accustomed to northern woodlands, and they needed advancements in technology and daring growers to fuel them.
This season, the state produced 53.4 million pounds of blueberries, placing it sixth in the country. This tremendous blueberry production increase, on the other hand, did not happen overnight.
It takes a combination of heat-loving types from Florida, as well as numerous exotic ‘Falcon’ kinds, and technical growing skills to make it happen.
6. New Jersey – Blueberry Production of 56.7 Million Pounds
New Jersey is now the fifth-largest producer of blueberries in the United States. Despite its tiny size in comparison to other states, producers in New Jersey have produced 56.7 million pounds of blueberries this year alone.
Surprisingly, the majority of this crop comes from only 8,800 acres, with Atlantic County accounting for nearly 80% of all blueberry production in New Jersey.
At the Atlantic Blueberry Company in Hammonton, loads of blueberries are normally processed and delivered to markets throughout the United States and Canada.
The ideal circumstances for blueberries in New Jersey include the area’s excellent temperatures and soil qualities.
7. Oregon – Blueberry Production of 86.1 Million Pounds
Harvested blueberry acreage in Oregon has almost tripled in the previous one and a half decades in order to meet the growing demand for the commodity.
Oregon presently ranks fourth in the United States for statewide blueberry production, with an estimated output of 86.1 million pounds this year.
Despite the fact that the Willamette Valley has the majority of the state’s blueberry land, commercial blueberry production is also widespread in the Mid-Columbia region, where a number of current, economically viable blueberry enterprises exist.
8. Michigan produces 92 million pounds of blueberries.
The majority of Michigan’s blueberry production takes place in Southwest Michigan, where high water tables and sandy soil provide for ideal blueberry growing conditions.
These soils are quite wet and have a pH of 4.5 to 5.5, which is somewhat acidic. In Michigan, approximately 20 blueberry types are farmed commercially on a considerable basis. The state’s harvest season typically lasts from June through October.
The state’s blueberry crop has been a commercial success, generating nearly 92 million pounds this year.
9. Georgia produces 92 million pounds of blueberries.
Over the last three decades, many Georgia farmers have worked tirelessly to increase their state’s blueberry output and fulfill customer demand.
The University of Georgia’s professors and facilities have helped boost blueberry production in the state by providing extension assistance and research.
According to the North American Blueberry Council, Georgia produced 92 million pounds of blueberries this year. Farmers in Georgia used to plant around 3,500 acres of blueberries, but now they grow over 20,000 acres, and output has increased tenfold.
10. Washington has produced 96.1 million pounds of blueberries.
In Washington, blueberries were grown for the first time more than 50 years ago. When blueberries were first introduced to the state, there were just a few producers and processors interested in purchasing their produce.
The majority of producers owned tiny plots of land and sold the majority of their products directly from farm stands.
It is now the leading producer of blueberries in the United States, with an output of 96.1 million pounds in the previous year.
Despite the fact that the crop has been sold in Washington for many years, expansion has been restricted to land on the western side of the Cascades until recently.
Over the previous several years, the acreage has grown dramatically, covering a bigger portion of the state.