U.S. producers and importers of blueberries overwhelmingly voted to continue a national collective research and promotion program, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture news release on Nov. 8.

In a referendum last month, 84 percent of producers and importers voted in favor of continuing the federal Blueberry Promotion, Research and Information Order, charging themselves assessments to pay for the activities, according to the release. Those yes voters represent 93 percent of the highbush blueberry volume and the totals mark an increase in percentage of voters and volume share over the previous referendum in 2016.

For the program to continue, more than half the voters representing more than half the volume need to vote yes in a referendum held every five years.

The blueberry research and promotion program has been administered by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council since 2001.

by Ross Courtney