Blueberry farmers worried early blooms could spoil harvest

Blueberry farmers are worried the warm weather in the Lower Mainland could put their crops at risk.

Jason Smith says the B.C. Blueberry Council is looking at breeding berries that can adapt to climate change

Chair of the BC Blueberry Council Jason Smithis worried the warm weather could lead to an early bloom. (submitted)

Blueberry farmers are worried the warm weather in the Lower Mainland could put their crops at risk.

"A lot can change from now until harvest time," Jason Smith, the chair of the BC Blueberry Council told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff.

Smith some of the plants are at a blooming stage they wouldn't usually reach until mid-March, and if temperatures drop below zero coupled with strong winds, some of those blooms could dry out.

"Mother Nature controls everything in farming, and at this point it looks early, but it could be delayed."

Last year, blueberry farmers predicted an early harvest, but cold wet weather in May and June meant the berries were ready to be picked on time.

Smith said the BC Blueberry Council is working with other berry farmers to breed berries that are more suited to the B.C. climate.

"That could become more and more important as Mother Nature changes," said Smith.

To hear the full interview with Jason Smith, click the audio labelled: Blueberry farmers worried about early bloom.

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