SACRAMENTO — Grappling with drought and heat, growers of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries in California and the West have been fighting to keep pace with last year’s production.
With the Golden State’s blueberry season having wrapped up, producers had shipped about 8.2 million flats as of July 29, down from 8.7 million at the same point last year, according to the industry-compiled National Berry Report.
California produces more than 40 million pounds of blueberries per year, according to the California Blueberry Commission.
Oregon production is ahead of last year’s pace, with 2.6 million flats so far this year compared to a little more than 2 million at the end of July 2014, the report states. Production is up worldwide with nearly 70 million flats produced compared to 62.5 million a year ago.
Nearly 19.23 million flats of raspberries have been produced in California, down slightly from 19.27 million at the end of July 2014. Global production is up significantly, with nearly 42.3 million flats produced this year compared to 36 million for the same period in 2014.
Raspberries in California are typically picked through the summer months, according to the crop information website PickYourOwn.org.
Blackberry production is finishing ahead of last year in California, with nearly 2.2 million flats compared to 1.9 million at the same point last year. Globally, growers have produced 28.8 million flats compared to 26.2 million at the same point last summer.
Blackberry season typically begins in mid-May and runs through the end of July.