Highbush Blueberry Production
The initial investment is high, primarily because of the cost of preparing the land, establishing plants, and installing an irrigation system. However, equipment needs for small plantings are minimal once the plants are established and healthy, well-tended plants can be expected to bear fruit for fifty years or more. Demand for blueberries has been strong in recent years, and fresh-market prices have been relatively high because per capita consumption of blueberries in the United States has been increasing.
To meet this growing consumer demand, commercial blueberry acreage and production has doubled in the past fifteen years. Major increases have occurred in the Pacific Northwest, California, and in the southeastern United States. Half of world’s commercial production is from the United States, with considerable production also occurring in Canada and Poland.
Four types of blueberries are grown North America: northern highbush (used in commercial plantings in cooler climates), lowbush (wild fruit harvested commercially in New England), and southern highbush and rabbiteye (used in commercial plantings in the southern United States). This publication focuses on northern highbush blueberry production.
- Production Considerations
- Pest Management
- Postharvest Handling
- Environmental Impacts
- Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices
- Risk Management
- Sample Budgets