Commissioner Steve Troxler: Blueberry Season is in Full Swing!

Fresh North Carolina blueberries can be found in grocery stores, roadside stands and farmers across the state. Get them while you can, says NC Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler.

  • Strawberry and blueberry seasons overlap in June. As one crop is wrapping up, the other is getting underway.
  • I am a fan of both, so I look forward to getting farm fresh North Carolina berries at stores and farmers markets. I know when they have the Got to Be NC label that they are going to be the freshest berries around.
  • North Carolina is the eighth (8th) largest producer of blueberries in the nation. All totaled, we grow about 6,300 acres, with the 2017 blueberry production valued at $53.8 million.
  • Based on reports from growers, the quality of the 2019 crop is expected to be good, despite some record heat in May. Farmers expect to have berries through mid-July.
  • We have a couple of upcoming Blueberry Day events at the state-operated farmers market in Raleigh and Greensboro.
  • The first one is June 20 at the State Farmers Market and the second is June 21 at the Robert G. Shaw Piedmont Triad Farmers Market. The events are from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and visitors can sample fresh blueberries AND blueberry ice cream.
  • It’s kind of fitting that they will have ice cream as part of the celebration because June is Dairy Month.
  • Last week we hosted the 19th annual milk chugging contest between members of the legislature. The Senate Super Sippers faced off against the House All Stars, with the Senators edging out the Representatives by just 3 seconds.
  • Participants were Sen. W. Ted Alexander, Sen. Jim Burgin and Sen. Eddie Gallimore with a time of 1 minute and 6 seconds. They represented the N.C 4-H Foundation. The “House All Stars” team was Rep. William D. Brisson, Rep. Chris Humphrey and Rep. Larry Strickland, who clocked a time of 1 minute and 9 seconds.
  • This event is always a fun way to highlight the impact of the dairy industry in the state.
  • North Carolina dairy farmers care for 44,000 dairy cows across the state. North Carolina leads the Southeast for most milk production per cow and produces more than 108 million gallons of milk annually. North Carolina also produces 14.9 million gallons of ice cream each year.
  • So my take away from today’s Today’s Topic is that it is the perfect time of year to support North Carolina farmers by purchasing North Carolina berries and ice cream. Sounds like delicious advice to me.