Maine blueberry harvest down as industry looks for buyers

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) A trade group says Maine's wild blueberry crop fell sharply this summer to land below 100 million pounds (45 million kilograms) for the first time in four years.

Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine executive director Nancy McBrady says preliminary industry figures show the crop coming in at about 65 million pounds (29 million kilograms). It's more than enough for Maine to remain far and away the wild blueberry capital of the country, but a sharp drop from recent years.

McBrady says the crop is down because of bad growing conditions and lack of farming effort. Surplus supplies of blueberries from recent years have motivated some growers to scale back. Prices are also down.

The industry is looking for new buyers to help improve prices. Oakhurst Dairy plans to issue wild blueberry milk in the spring.