ADVANCING BLUEBERRY PRODUCTION EFFICIENCY BY ENABLING MECHANICAL HARVEST, IMPROVING FRUIT QUALITY & SAFETY, & MANAGING EMERGING DISEASES
Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement and Protection
Project Number: 1931-21000-018-04
Start Date: Oct 01, 2008
End Date: Aug 31, 2013
To improve production efficiency and product quality of early season highbush blueberries in the southeastern United States by addressing genetic, horticultural, engineering, pathological, postharvest, and marketing challenges associated with mechanical fruit harvesting.
Evaluate all aspects associated with mechanical harvestability using plantings of 4 or 5 advanced selections/cultivars from GA, NC, and FL blueberry breeding programs near Gainesville, FL and Tifton, GA. Evaluate trellis and crown restriction treatments to reduce ground loss and improve harvest efficiency.