Blueberry business takes hit following freeze

Blueberry business takes hit following freeze
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)

CAMILLA, GA (WALB) - South Georgia's economy is going to take a big hit this spring, after almost 90 percent of the blueberry crop was destroyed by freezing weather.

That's according to Georgia's chair of the blueberry commission. 

The Chair of the Blueberry commission says it's complete devastation.

There are piles of blueberries that have fallen on the ground.

The ones on the bushes are no good either.

The blueberries have shriveled up and dried out in the middle.

The Georgia Blueberry Commissioner says farmers lost 70 percent of the early crop and roughly 85 to 90 percent of the crop for the year.

The annual blueberry farm gate value in Georgia is over $255 million.

This year, Georgia was expected  expected to be the largest blueberry producing state.

At a Camilla farm, Doyle Singleton said he lost everything.

Last week, he and his growers tried to light hay bales on fire to keep the blueberries heated, but they were unsuccessful.

Farmers said if it was even a couple of degrees warmer they may have been able to save at least 50 percent.

Because most of them froze completely, and because of how late in the season this was, they lost almost everything.

The last time blueberry farmers suffered a loss from cold weather was in 2007.

They say this is much worse.

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