Florida Blueberry Farmers Have Mixed 2012 Season

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- Blueberry farmers say the 2012 crop didn't live up to expectations but prices stayed good, which helped offset the production deficit.

The Ledger of Lakeland (http://bit.ly/L82wur) reports that Bill Braswell, a Bartow-based grower and president of the Florida Blueberry Growers Association, says production was off almost 50 percent from 2011.

There were several issues that contributed to the light crop. Cedar waxwing birds attacked the plants, and the first week in April was hot.

Florida's blueberry farmers suffered an estimated 20 percent crop loss following a February freeze. Yet the subsequent jump in the farm price for Florida blueberries more than made up for the loss.

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