University of Florida Trialing Blueberry Varieties to Produce in Fall; Amber Maloney and Dr. Patricio Munoz Comment

From And Now u Know | 18 December 2023

Overview of blueberries from Florida in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on December 14, 2023.

CAPE CORAL, FL – Researchers at the University of Florida are hard at work developing blueberry varieties viable for fall harvest. While most associate the growing region with summer berries, this move could potentially change things.

blueberry volumes by his 26

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

“The University of Florida is investing resources into breeding new Florida blueberry varieties,” remarked Amber Maloney, Director of Marketing for Wish Farms, when I reached out to her for comment. “As a grower and shipper, Wish Farms is grateful for their work and continued support to our Florida industry.”

The program is led by Dr. Patricio Munoz, an Associate Professor at the University of Florida. According to a report from Fox4Now, Munoz detailed that the researchers have so far evaluated more than 500 varieties to determine which one could consistently produce in the fall.

“Once we were able to do that, we started studying what are the potential genes that drive this expression of this characteristic in the fall,” Munoz noted before talking about how the berries themselves are the right sweetness and texture.

Naturally, there will be a period of trials and developments. The program is still searching for a grower partner, but so far has not found one.

“These new fall Florida blueberry varieties could be a great option for local markets and u-picks,” added Amber. “We predict the retail prices during this time window are not high enough for a Florida grower to be competitive at a commercial scale.”

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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