Would it be a good idea to start a blueberry farm?
You might be able to harvest 7000 pounds of fruit per acre, but it will take 5 or 6 years to reach that kind of yield. Organically grown blueberries are in great demand, but conventional blueberries are not selling as well. At one time there was a two year supply of conventional blueberries in frozen storage. You will have to come up with a way to protect the shrubs from foraging deer, and rabbits can be a problem, as well. Blueberries can be easily grown on hilly land, but I'm not sure that the mechanical pickers can operate on uneven ground. Harvesting by hand is labor intensive, but it does result in good quality fruit. So far, our backyard blueberry patch has not required the use of sprays to control insects. Sometimes I see a few japanese beetles, but I pick them off by hand, and drown them in warm soapy water. I suspect that commercial blueberry farms attract large flocks of hungry birds, and I don't know how they deal with them. If you have a greenhouse, blueberries can be propagated from cuttings. Of course, it would be faster to buy three year old shrubs, ready to transplant.
Thats a fantastic idea! If you need a high paid employee to grow your plants for you let me know. I will be there in a heart beat! ;)
Too bad you didn't post earlier as last year Pertic's Blueberry Plantation in nearby Lapaz, IN came up for sale. Rick Pertic invented a lot of devices and innovations for the blueberry industry and many growers are indebted to him. I understand the new owner is growing commercially and not sure if he is going to be selling at their stand this year or allowing pickers. Still we have many other growers in the area who sell and let the public pick-just how lucrative is it-that I wish I had an answer for you! Then of course one of the largest festivals in the Midwest "The Blueberry Festival" that is held here in Plymouth, IN every year on Labor Day Weekend, and you can find everything blueberry that your heart desires. Good luck if you follow through kratzy, I love blueberries and glad that I live where the plantations and growers are in abundance. Me I just enjoy the hobby of growing them!
The Blueberry Years was a good book about starting a pick your own blueberry farm. A lot of work for not a ton of money!
Here is a link that might be useful: Amazon link
If you ask an open ended question like that and don't come back to discuss, the answer is no. For most people in most locations it's no. Such operations suck up capitol like a bear on honey.