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Hannah's Choice
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United States Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Service
Washington, D.C. 20250
New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903

Notice of Release of
Hannah's Choice
Highbush Blueberry

Image of a Hannah's Choice Blueberry cluster The Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station announce the release of HANNAH'S CHOICE, a new highbush blueberry cultivar with improved sweetness, firmness, and flavor. Tested under the designations G-805 and ARS 95-4 , HANNAH'S CHOICE is a progeny from the cross G-136 x G-358. G-136 originated from the cross G-67 x E-55. G-67 is a cross of 'Earliblue' x 11-93 (= a sibling of 'Bluecrop'). E-55 is a cross of 'Berkeley' x F-72 (='Wareham' x 'Pioneer'). G-358 is a cross of E-22 x US 41. E-22 is a cross of 'Earliblue' x No.3 (='Coville' x V. angustifolium 'North Sedgewick'). US 41 is a colchicine-doubled clone of a diploid V. corymbosum forma atrococcum collected from the wild in New Jersey. The cross that produced HANNAH'S CHOICE was made by A.D. Draper at Beltsville, Maryland in 1978. The seedling was selected in 1982 at the Atlantic Blueberry Company, Hammonton, NJ, and subsequently evaluated by A.D. Draper, N. Vorsa, A.W. Stretch and M.K. Ehlenfeldt at both Atlantic Blueberry Co. and Variety Farms in Hammonton, NJ.

HANNAH'S CHOICE ripens at approximately the same time as 'Duke', the leading early cultivar in New Jersey, and typically reaches 50% ripeness about 2 days earlier than 'Duke'. Its fruit are medium to large sized, medium to light blue, with good scars, and excellent firmness. Fruit is sweet, sub-acid, and mild-flavored with pronounced peach accents. Production in New Jersey on mature plants in mixed plantings has been 60 to 65% of 'Duke' and about 70% of 'Bluecrop'. Table 1 compares fruiting characteristics of HANNAH'S CHOICE to 'Duke', and 'Bluecrop'. The high levels of soluble solids in HANNAH'S CHOICE represent an approximate 20% relative increase in soluble solids over the average values for 'Duke', and its firmness represents an approximate 10% relative increase over 'Duke'.

HANNAH'S CHOICE is an upright bush, with pink-tinged flowers. It flowers as early, or earlier than 'Weymouth'. Although it may be susceptible to damage from late frosts, it has seldom suffered serious damage and may have some innate level of cold tolerance. HANNAH'S CHOICE has consistently produced moderate yields in New Jersey, but has had little testing in other regions.

In Oregon its yields in 1994-1995 were 1.5 T/acre which are relatively low for that area. HANNAH'S CHOICE is recommended as a high-quality, early season, specialty cultivar for commercial growers, pick-your-own growers, and home growers in northeastern temperate regions, including New Jersey and adjoining states.

Nurserymen may request information on how to obtain propagations by contacting M. K. Ehlenfeldt, USDA-ARS Blueberry & Cranberry Research Center, 125A Lake Oswego Road, Chatsworth, NJ 08019. Requests for plants will be prorated if demand exceeds the supply. Genetic material of this release will be deposited in the National Plant Germplasm System where it will be available for research purposes, including the development and commercialization of new cultivars.

Adesoji O. Adelaja, Director,New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Date 3-12-2000

Edward B. Knipling, Administrator, Agricultural Research Service,U.S. Department of Agriculture, Date 3-27-2000

Table 1. Fruit weight, color, firmness, soluble solids, titratable acidity,estimated 50% ripening dates, and representative yields for 'Hannah's Choice', 'Duke', and 'Bluecrop' summarized across all harvests in 1996, 1997, and 1998 from a field in Hammonton, New Jersey planted in 1993.

Berry Color
Soluble Solids
Titratable Acidity
Date 50% Ripe
(grams)(L)1( citric acid)3(Kg)
Hannah's Choice19961.8 ? 0.53116212.9 0.506/241.5
19971.9 ? 0.52716812.9 0.936/251.4
19982.2 ? 0.52515611.2 0.496/194.1
Duke 1996 2.1 ? 0.43015110.70.406/272.1
19971.8 ? 0.5261539.9 0.547/22.8
19982.1 ? 0.62613410.10.496/206.3
Bluecrop 19962.0 ? 0.42711311.70.657/101.6
19971.9 ? 0.52811011.30.807/133.7
19981.8 ? 0.42712610.6 0.807/55.4
1 Color in the L*a*b* color co-ordinate system as defined by the Commission Internationale l'Eclairage (CIE). L coordinate indicates lightness; higher numbers indicate lighter color. Color meter aperature, 50 mm.
2 Grams of force needed to produce 1mm of deflection, averaged across 30 intact fruit.
3 Soluble solids and titratable acidity were determined on a blended one cup sample of fruit.

For more information about Hannah's Choice please contact:Dr. Mark Ehlenfeldt