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Lack of rain and high temperatures impact Northeast Florida blueberry farm

Lack of rain and high temperatures impact Northeast Florida blueberry farm

  • PublishedJune 13, 2024

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – While South Florida is getting slammed with a downpour of showers, Northeast Florida’s lack of rain and high temperatures have led to problems for a Jacksonville agricultural business.

Debbie Williams and her husband Kenny Williams own one-acre of land called Williams Blueberry Farm on Stratton Road.

Debbie Williams said their blueberries are not at their regular size for this time in the season.

“Right now they’re pretty small,” Debbie Williams said.

She said the weather is to blame for the decrease in their produce.

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“We’ve received hardly no rain whatsoever, that’s worth anything. So, that’s not helping any getting these berries plumped. It’s keeping them smaller. They’re real flavorful, but it’s not making them get any bigger,” she said.

Kenny Williams said the rising temperatures only made things worse for their farm.

A lot of their blueberries are still green because of the weather conditions.

The lack of rain and the high heat also affected other grass, causing it to dry out.

In parts of St. Johns County, JEA alerted some residents with a reclaimed water supply that they might be experiencing low water pressure because of record warmth.

Hot summer conditions can also cause lower-than-normal water pressure.

Debbie and Kenny said that’s not something they’ve had to deal with on their farm.

“Sprinklers can only do so much. It’s still nothing like Mother Nature when it rains,” Debbie Williams said. “We used to do it about every two days as opposed to once a week or so, depending on the rain.”

Debbie and Kenny Williams said if everything continues like it is right now, the blueberries will drop off the trees before they’re ripe, which could lead to a shorter selling season.

Copyright 2024 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.

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