On June 22 you reported Rep. Poliquin’s support for the farm bill, based on “boosting the fortunes of Maine’s blueberry growers” by funding the purchase of frozen blueberries for snacks for school children.
As a blueberry grower myself (certified organic), I fail to see the logic in yet another program to throw federal tax money to fix economic problems without thinking it through. Frozen blueberries will not work as snacks for school kids, unless they are combined with a generous dose of sugar. How does that fit with another federal program to discourage the consumption of maple syrup because of unhealthful levels of sugar in American diets?
The real cause of the collapsing price for wild blueberries has been the promotion of the herbicide Velpar by the University of Maine, which greatly increased production in Maine and Canada. Meanwhile, organic blueberry growers, who must control weeds with hand labor, have not seen a price reduction.
Arthur Harvey, Hartford