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This year may not be as prosperous for berries

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News Detroit Lakes, 56501
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It looks like it will be a tough season for berry farmers in the region, after one long-time farm closed and another will likely not be open for public picking.

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One farm looks to open the first week of July, though.

Larry Hoban's farm on Highway 59 about a mile south of Ogema will be offering up strawberries and raspberries.

It turned out 2008 was a tough year as the farm didn't open to the public. "We were hailed out twice," Hoban said.

The only delay at this point would be because of weather, Hoban said. Long-range forecasts do show temperatures warming up with high 70s and low 80s coming in two week's time.

Westview Berries on Highway 59 north of Detroit Lakes had a tough winter and spring, said owner Michelle Andreson.

"It was a difficult winter here," she said.

There was a lot of winter kill. To help replenish the farm, Andreson said 8,000 new plants went into the ground. With that, Westview Berries will be open for pre-orders.

Andreson said that there will be lot of demand for fresh strawberries because of the low yield.

"It will be a big demand product," she said. "Those who get them will be lucky."

Hopefully the farm will be open for public picking next year, Andreson said.

Westview Berries can be reached at 234-9013.

The closing of a long-time strawberry farm in the area will contribute to the shortage this season.

Hammer's Berry Farms on Highway 34 east of Detroit Lakes closed after 55 years of operation.

Valerie Hammer said that the farm was a lot of work for her and her husband Leonard.

The closing of the farm to the public is bittersweet for Hammer.

"We'll sure miss our customers we get to see," Hammer said.

Deciding to close wasn't a rash choice, Hammer said. The decision was made last year.

"We knew that at the end of the season it would be the last year," Hammer said.

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