The start of the Michigan blueberry harvest is about to kick into high gear.

South Haven mayor Bob Burr met with Michigan Blueberry Growers Association and MBG Marketing Board member Chris Hodgeman and Brian Bocock, vice president of product management for Naturipe Farms.

Michigan blueberry growers prepare for harvestHodgman gave Burr a tour of the 150-acre Hodgman family farm in Grand Junction, and talked about this year’s crop.

The Michigan Blueberry Growers Association is a founding partner and part-owner of Naturipe, according to the release.

“This is a crucial time of year for our family farmers and the communities,” Burr said in the release. “Our local and regional economies rely on a successful blueberry harvest season and it is a source of Michigan pride when we start to see our blueberries shipped throughout the country.”

Michigan is the largest blueberry producing state. Freezes late in the season affected some of plantings in the region and caused some fruit loss, but most growers were able to protect their bushes, according to the release.

The Michigan Blueberry Growers Association and Naturipe worked with the Michigan Ag Council to sponsor the Pure Michigan program. The program has developed a blueberry-specific logo that can be used by all Michigan blueberry growers.