Rabbiteye blueberry [Vaccinium ashei (Reade)] production is increasing rapidly and growers of large plantings are converting rapidly from hand harvesting to machine harvesting. In three tests conducted during 1985, machine-harvested ‘Climax’ and ‘Woodard’ blueberries were softer and had higher moisture loss and decay than handpicked fruit after 1, 2, or 3 weeks of storage at 3°C. For both cultivars, berry firmness remained relatively constant during storage, whereas decay and weight loss increased. Berries of ‘Climax’ were firmer, less acidic, and developed less decay than ‘Woodard’. These results will assist in identifying the best fresh-market berries for export from the United States to Western Europe.
Received for publication 2 June 1986. The cost of publishing this paper was defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. Under postal regulations, this paper therefore must be hereby marked advertisement solely to indicate this fact.