Things are looking bright for one Abbotsford berry crop but rather sour for another this season.
After a bit of a difficult start, the blueberry harvest has the potential to be the best one in years, said Mike Makara, chair of the B.C. Blueberry Council.
"So far it's going quite well and it's going to be a big crop, a substantial increase from the last couple of years," said Makara.
The rain at the start of the season in mid-July made harvesting the early varieties more difficult but the quality of the berries, headed mostly to the fresh market, was still good, he said.
If the weather continues to improve as expected and there are no periods of prolonged rain, there is potential to have a record crop.
The last three years provincial blueberry production, the bulk occurring in the Fraser Valley, has averaged around 95 million pounds, said Makara.
But with more acreage coming on line and this year's good crop, the industry consultant thinks the haul might increase to 110 to 115 million pounds.
Last year the cold spring weather impeded pollination at blossom time.
But this year, despite the persistent gloom, there was a spell of good weather as the blueberry flowers emerged and there has been a lower prevalence of disease, said Makara.
And if the weather stays on track local blueberry farmers will be harvesting right until the end of September as late varieties come on line.
Raspberry season is well underway but this year's crop was hit hard by the weather challenges, said Sharmin Gamiet, executive director of the Raspberry Industry Development Council based in Abbotsford.
"It's been one of the most difficult harvests I can recall," said Gamiet.
"The rainy spring didn't seem to stop, which made it hard to get into the fields and put stress on the plants."
As the weather improved, the harvest began but the early raspberry varieties were hit hard by mould, she said.
The early crop had to be diverted from the most profitable fresh or quick frozen market towards processing for juice.
The bulk of Canada's and the province's raspberries are grown within the 3,200 acres under cultivation in Abbotsford or the Fraser Valley, she said.
However, all is not lost.
The raspberry season, which started in mid-June, runs until early August and will likely improve with the weather, she added.
"The season's not over yet and things can get better."