Florida Blueberry Growers Assess Freeze Damage
According to the Florida Blueberry Growers Association, the cold wave that hit the state on the weekend of Feb. 11, 2012, damaged a significant portion of the blueberry crop.
The following is a statement prepared and sent out by Bill Braswell, president of the Florida Blueberry Growers Association, reporting on the damage assessment:
“It appears almost all of the damage was north of Interstate 4 getting progressively worse as you move north. The dew points were very low on the night of Feb. 11 and the winds were so strong that many farmers did not have the water capacity to provide adequate protection. Given the fact that the crop was advanced due to the very warm winter conditions, fruit had been set for several weeks. At this time, it appears that approximately 20% of this season’s Florida blueberry crop was lost in the freeze on Feb. 11-12.
With the combination of the freeze, lack of chill prior to bloom, and some hydrogen cyanamide damage — despite the increase in acreage — we do not expect an increase in production over 2011 totals.”