BREEDING NEW BLUEBERRIES FOR MECHANICAL HARVEST
NC State's Blueberry Breeding Program has a long history of working with NC blueberry growers to develop cultivars that thrive in the region's challenging climate and meet the needs of high yield, quality, and machine harvestability. To support this work, new machine-harvest trials and on-farm grower trials are being conducted. New technologies like machine learning and in vitro micropropagation enable the testing of increased numbers of selections. To help create new varieties more quickly, the Program has established a cooperative breeding and partnership with NC blueberry growers.
NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
The grant—running from January 1, 2023 to June 1, 2025—is for a total of $145,000.
Jessica Adrienne Spencer
Jason A. Osborne
William O. Cline
Edgar J Lobaton
The North Carolina State University Blueberry Breeding Program has long supported and collaborated with NC blueberry growers to breed for blueberry cultivars that stand up to our challenging climate and meet the needs of high yield, quality, and machine harvest-ability. New machine-harvest trials coupled with on-farm grower trials will inform the release of new NC State blueberry cultivars, while new technologies such as machine learning and in vitro micropropagation will allow us to grow and test larger numbers of selections in our berry evaluations. In addition, our cooperative breeding and partnership with NC blueberry growers help develop new varieties faster.