Agronometrics in Charts: New Jersey Blueberries Off to a Good Start

In this installment of the 'Agronometrics In Charts' series, Sarah Ilyas surveys the status of the New Jersey blueberry season. Each week, the series looks at a different horticultural product, focusing on a specific origin or theme and visualizing the market factors that are driving change.

Blueberry season in New Jersey typically begins in mid to late June and peaks in July, which is National Blueberry Month. The season can extend into August, depending on the type of blueberries being grown. About 80 percent of New Jersey's blueberries come from Atlantic County's 56 farms, which are located near or in Hammonton. In late winter 2021 and early spring 2022 there were cold temperatures, rain and wind. “Going into 2022, we saw more snowfall than normal, then we had some normal cold temperatures, and then moving into spring, it looked like wind was an issue,” John Galaida of Pleasantdale Farms said in the third week of May. , as he anxiously awaited a good season for the New Jersey cranberries. “We also had a lot of wet weather,” says Tony Biondo of Trucco Inc. in Vineland, NJ. “However, it turned out that the flowers did set, and the crop seems to be normal in terms of volume, and we seem to have done quite well with all of that.” Biondo says the New Jersey crop has good quality and volume. “It's going to be a great season for New Jersey and we'll probably get to August,” he adds. 

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

New Jersey annually ranks in the top six in the US for blueberry production. Blueberries in New Jersey for 2021 had a production value of $78 million. Farmers harvested 41 million pounds of blueberries on 7500 acres last season. During the peak of the blueberry season, production can reach 250-000 boxes per day. The season started with prices at $300 per pack in week 000, showing a significant increase compared to the previous season, when prices ranged from $24 to $24 per pack.

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometry users can view this chart with live updates here)

Blueberries are known as the “King of Antioxidants”. They are low in calories and rich in nutrients. Demand is expected to be strong in the market throughout the season. With North Carolina's supply nearly depleted, New Jersey will be able to get a premium for its blueberries. “There is usually a lot of volume between all the states. Once it starts, it will only be New Jersey, so the market will stay active unless there is a quality issue later in the season. But right now the quality seems excellent,” says Biondo.

In our 'In Charts' series, we work to tell some of the stories that are moving the industry. Feel free to take a look at the other articles by clicking here.

All US domestic farm product prices represent the cash market at the point of shipment (ie, packing house/climate-controlled warehouse, etc.). For imported fruit, price data represents the spot market at the port of entry.

You can track the markets daily through Agronometrics, a data visualization tool created to help the industry make sense of the massive amounts of data professionals need to access to make informed decisions. If you found the information and graphics in this article helpful, please feel free to visit us at www.agronometrics.com , where you can easily access these same charts, or explore the other 21 commodities we currently track.

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