Rainy spring delays Oregon berry crops

It could lead to a longer, better summer fruit season
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 9:56 PM PDT
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HILLSBORO, Ore. (KPTV) - The extra rain this spring is now impacting berry crops.

But even though there aren’t as many berries available right now, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

This delayed season is more normal than we might think, and it could have some benefits later this summer.

Rich Hildner at Smith Berry Barn never knows what Mother Nature might throw his way.

This year it’s cool temperatures and plenty of water.

“Everything’s lush and green,” he said.

So much so, that this is the first June in twenty years that he hasn’t turned on the irrigation.

“This year I feel is more normal, but it seems abnormal to people,” Hildner said.

He said we’ve gotten used to hotter spring weather that cooks the berries quick, so now when we’re picking strawberries in June because of all the rain, it feels late.

“Last year we were done with strawberries I think by June 5th and this year we barely started picking June 10th. It’s like a three week season on strawberries, we’re definitely expanding that season out with the cooler weather.”

Because the berries aren’t all ripening at once now, this will lead to a longer season, more fruit, and in some cases, bigger and better fruit.

The blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and marionberries will all ripen later too.