Climate change threatens Maine blueberries

Maine blueberries and the farmers who harvest them could be some of the latest victims of climate transform. Scientists from the College of Maine have revealed a new review that identified blueberry fields are warming more rapidly than the rest of the state.

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Forty years of info clearly show that Maine has gotten about 1.1 levels Celsius (1.98 degrees Fahrenheit) hotter in that time general. But Down East Maine, dwelling of the state’s famed wild blueberry fields, has elevated by 1.3 degrees Celsius (2.34 levels Fahrenheit). This could lead to water deficits, driving down crop measurements and primary to blueberries that never survive until finally harvest time.

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“What we are expecting is the temperature is going to maximize a ton and we will not get as significantly rainfall in the summertime in particular,” mentioned Rafa Tasnim, as reported by Connected Press. Tasnim is a University of Maine doctoral applicant in ecology and environmental science and chief of the new study’s investigation team. “What that will suggest for the wild blueberry plants is they will be drinking water pressured.”

Maine is the only state wherever wild blueberries are made commercially. Producers assert that wild Maine blueberries have a far more intensive taste, additional anti-oxidants and are frozen at peak freshness, while everyday blueberries are a lot less flavorful and picked just before they absolutely ripen.

The Maine blueberry business was by now struggling from droughts and industry fluctuations. Past year, Maine farmers manufactured only 47.4 million lbs of wild blueberries, the smallest volume because 2004.

Fortunately, the review authors did not condemn us to a lifetime of barren pancakes. They recommended techniques for blueberry growers to improve output regardless of climate change, this sort of as better fertilizer use and enhanced irrigation.

“We are actively engaged in finding out how local weather transform is impacting our industry and discovering remedies to it,” mentioned Eric Venturini, government director of the Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine. “Climate transform unquestionably poses problem to wild blueberry farms in Maine.”

Not only are wild blueberries crucial to Maine’s economic climate but also for the state’s picture. Blueberry is the official point out berry as nicely as the vital component in blueberry pie, the point out dessert. Quite a few Maine communities hold blueberry festivals in August.

By way of AP Information

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