Blueberry Cultivar Development at The University of Georgia

Report
UGA Blueberry Breeding:
Developing and Sustaining an Industry
D. Scott NeSmith
Dept. of Horticulture
Univ. of Georgia
Griffin, GA
UGA Blueberry Breeding Program Has
Rich History
• Program got small start
in 1930’s
• Dr. W. Thomas
Brightwell 1945, a
visionary.
• Great example of long
term impact of Ag
research!!
Today
• Today, program has
research farms at
Alapaha and Griffin.
Blueberry acreage explosive growth
Georgia Blueberry Farm-gate Value
Year
2000
2002
2004
2006
2008
2010
2012
Value (million $)
22
30
48
60
75-80
90-110
150 <
Georgia blueberry commercial
industry
OR
Mich.
NJ
Calif.
NC
Georgia
Florida
20-Mar
9-May
28-Jun
17-Aug
Breeding Program Overview
Breeding Program Overview
Blueberry Cultivar Development
Timeline
12
10
Years
8
6
4
2
0
Seedling
Selection Advanced
Selection
New
Variety
BAD NEWS
Takes 12 or more Years
GOOD NEWS
HAVE PROGRAM
CONTINUITY
Breeding to meet commercial industry challenges
• Increased fruit size for
blueberries
– increased consumer
acceptance
– increased harvest
efficiency
Breeding to meet commercial industry challenges
2011 Prices Per Flat (12) of 6 oz. containers
– higher market
prices
Dollars
• Early ripening
varieties
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
Low price
High price
9-Apr
16-Apr
23-Apr
30-Apr
7-May
14-May
Estimated Harvest Interval
Star
Rebel
Emerald
TH-819
8-Apr
18-Apr
28-Apr
8-May
18-May 28-May
7-Jun
Breeding to meet commercial industry challenges
• Short ripening periods
and later flowering times
– decreases frost risk,
reducing usage of
overhead irrigation, saving
water and energy
Breeding to meet commercial industry challenges
• Increase fruit firmness
– increases shelf life, long
distant shipping
– potential for mechanical
harvest, saving labor
New products, new businesses
Ornamental Blueberries:
Surround yourself with flavorful beauty!!
Support staff, facilities, and equipment
On-Farm Trials
Blueberry Field Day
Visitors from around the world
Recent Georgia Blueberry Variety Releases
VARIETY
YEAR RELEASED
PATENT
Alapaha
2001
USPP 16,266
Ochlockonee
2002
USPP 17,300
Palmetto
2003
USPP 16,756
Rebel
2004
USPP 18,138
Camellia
2005
USPP 18,151
Vernon
2006
USPP 18,291
Blue SuedeTM
2007
USPP 21,222
Suziblue
2008
USPP 21,167
Southern Splendour
2009
USPP 22,692
Summer SunsetTM
2009
USPP 23,374
TitanTM
2010
USPPAF
Georgia DawnTM
2011
USPPAF
Summary
• UGA blueberry breeding program is rich in
history.
• Blueberry variety development is a long term
process.
• Our breeding goals are aimed at solving everchanging grower needs.
• In addition to commercial blueberries, and
program has expanded to include an ornamental
component too.
• Varieties are having significant and immediate
impact in Georgia, across the U.S. and around the
world.
Thanks for your support!!!!

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