Large blackberry and small blueberry new from US breeder

The US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Oregon State University's Agricultural Experiment Station have launched new blackberry and blueberry varieties.

Columbia Giant - image: ARS
Columbia Giant - image: ARS

The thornless, trailing blackberry cultivar named Columbia Giant is described by its breeder, ARS geneticist Chad Finn, as "a high-quality, high-yielding, machine-harvestable blackberry with firm, sweet fruit that, when processed, is similar to or better in quality than fruit from the industry standards Marion and Black Diamond".

He added: "Due to its extremely large size, however, Columbia Giant will most commonly be sold in the fresh market."

The Baby Blues blueberry meanwhile is "a vigorous, high-yielding, small-fruited, machine-harvestable highbush [Vaccinium corymbosum] blueberry with outstanding fruit quality," he said.

"It's well-suited for those processing markets that require a small fruit size. Baby Blues should offer growers and processors an alternative to the low-yielding Rubel highbush blueberry, and it may thrive in milder areas where northern highbush blueberries are grown."

The release marks the centenary of the first commercial harvest of highbush blueberries, a move pioneered by USDA chief botanist Frederick Vernon Coville.

Both new varieties were bred by Finn and colleagues at ARS' Horticultural Crops Research Unit in Oregon.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

How will reduced apple and pear harvests hit the industry?

How will reduced apple and pear harvests hit the industry?

This spring, many top-fruit growers in the UK and across Europe were dismayed to discover that swathes of their orchards had been hit by frost.

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

Upcoming reforms to water abstraction licensing will for the first time cap the amount of water that fruit growers can take for trickle irrigation.

Getting a measure of the production labour crisis

Getting a measure of the production labour crisis

At a debate during last week's Fruit Focus trade show in Kent, senior industry figures painted a bleak picture of an increasingly difficult seasonal labour market that is already impacting on investment.