Submitted to: Small Fruit Reviews
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2006
Publication Date: 12/1/2006
Citation: Marshall, D.A., Spiers, J.M., Braswell, J.H. 2006. Splitting severity among rabbiteye (vaccinium ashei) blueberry varieties in mississippi and louisiana.. Small Fruit Reviews. pp 77-81. Interpretive Summary: The incidence of rain related splitting is a major problem for blueberry growers in the southeastern U.S. Personnel of the USDA-ARS Small Fruit Research Station and Mississippi State University conducted a survey to evaluate blueberry splitting incidence and cost in MS and LA . The survey of blueberry growers indicated fruit splitting could reduce marketable fruit and thus profit by 3-20% depending on the cultivar, with an overall average loss of 14.7%. Grower’s severity ratings correlated very strongly with the estimated crop loss (r=0.94). These results will direct current and future research on determination of splitting mechanisms within the fruit, and development of methods to reduce or diminish the loss incurred from rain-related splitting in blueberries.
Technical Abstract: A survey of blueberry growers determined the extent of rain related splitting fruit on blueberry production in MS and LA. Growers were asked to approximate (1) the number of acres or plants of each variety on their farm (2) the severity rating (1 = no splitting – 5 = severe splitting) of each variety, and (3) the percent of berries lost to rain-related splitting. Among the 3 most widely planted varieties, ‘Premier’ exhibited the least splitting (1.2 rating) followed by ‘Climax’ (2.2) and ‘Tifblue’ (3.1) had the most split fruit.