Weather makes berry crops less predictable in Mississippi

Texas: Blueberries, blackberries, and other fruits recover from adverse weather

According to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert Tim Hartmann, AgriLife Extension specialist and assistant professor in the Texas A&M Department of Horticultural Sciences, Bryan-College Station, blueberries, blackberries, and other fruits grown in Texas have bounced back from last season’s heat and drought.

“I know Nacogdoches froze and further south didn’t get that hard freeze, but many early producers got frozen out,” he said. “Most later-blooming varieties should be OK. Last year, we dealt with heat and drought, and despite the freeze, this season has the potential to hopefully be better for some producers.”

As reported on, there are about 700 acres of commercial blueberries grown, mainly in the eastern part of the state, Hartmann said. Acres in Texas can yield 15 pounds per plant or up to 8,000 to 10,000 pounds an acre.

Mississippi blueberry growers see hopes dashed
Originally, Mississippi’s blueberry growers were hopeful of a great year. Then the dreaded late freeze happened near the end of March, dashing their hopes. Eric Stafne, fruit specialist with MSU Extension Service, described the damage as widespread, wiping out half to all of the crop in the southern part of the state.

“Only later ripening rabbiteye varieties will have many crops,” Stafne said. “Local berries will be hard to find.” This is a scenario becoming all too common across the South; researchers pin the blame on climate change.


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