Winter freeze could inflict damage to Georgia blueberry crop

January 29, 2022 GMT

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Freezing overnight temperatures this weekend could pose a threat to blueberry crops in southern Georgia.

“Right now, fingers are crossed, praying, hoping that we get a few degrees warmer,” said Shane Curry, the University of Georgia extension agent in Appling County. “It wouldn’t take but a few degrees and we’ll squeak through this.”

Forecasts call for low temperatures below freezing across most of the state this weekend. Curry told WTOC-TV that blueberry crops are more vulnerable to the cold this year because milder weather earlier in the winter gave them an early start.

He said blueberries are about three weeks ahead of where they would normally be this time of year.

Most of Georgia’s blueberries are grown in just 10 counties, according to the UGA Extension Service. The crop is valued at roughly $300 million.