Publisher's Interlude: Changing Times

It’s amazing to observe how inflation, cheap imports, and labor costs are changing the landscape of agriculture across the country regardless of the crop. The swift changes are forcing farmers to think on their feet and quickly adapt in order to stay relevant and in business. Fortunately, these are traits most farmers, especially those right here in Florida, already possess. (I could rattle off a list of all the qualities our growers exhibit, but chances are good you already know them because you’re one of them.)

With challenges ramping up on multiple fronts, more and more Florida blueberry growers are re-evaluating their processes. Perhaps one of the most notable ways growers are trying to survive is by turning to mechanical harvesting, especially at the end of the harvest when market prices have dropped. 

The use of mechanical harvesting on a commercial scale is still in the early phases for our state. Some of the kinks still to be worked out with mechanical harvesting include:

  • Plant injury

  • Fruit bruising

  • The harvest of immature fruit

  • Fruit drop between harvests

Still, Florida Blueberry Growers Association President Leonard Park, former FBGA President Ryan Atwood, and Kyle Straughn —among others — are helping fellow growers learn the ins and outs as they forge ahead with the newer technology. You can read more about their experiences in mechanical harvesting in the June edition of Central Florida Ag News at or scan the QR code below to read the story. 

As growers take the tenuous next step, The Blueberry News and the Florida Blueberry Growers Association are here to help and support! 

Share this post:

Comments on "Publisher's Interlude: Changing Times"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment