Fruit Mass Development in Three Cranberry Cultivars and Five Production Regions

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Cranberry Experiment Station, University of Massachusetts, P.O. Box 569, East Wareham MA 02538
  • | 2 Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., 1 Ocean Spray Drive, Lakeville-Middleboro, MA 02349
  • | 3 Long Beach Research and Extension Unit, Washington State University, Route 1 Box 570, Long Beach, WA 98631
  • | 4 Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706
  • | 5 Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331
  • | 6 Rutgers Blueberry and Cranberry Research Station, Chatsworth, NJ 08019
  • | 7 Coos County Extension, 290 North Central, Coquille, OR 97423

Fruit mass development in `Crowley', `Pilgrim', and `Stevens' cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) was compared in five states for two seasons. Comparing all locations, `Stevens' and `Pilgrim' cranberries had similar growth curves with a faster growth rate than that of `Crowley'. Regional differences in fruit development were observed. Shorter growing seasons, especially in Wisconsin, were compensated for by more rapid growth rates. Conversely, low initial mass and slower growth rates were compensated for by the longer growing season in the Pacific Northwest. Solar radiation intensity accounted for little of the variability in fruit growth. Neither growing degree days nor numbers of days were good predictors of cranberry fruit fresh mass accumulation. Instead, numbers of moderate temperature days (between 16 and 30 °C) appeared to be key, accounting for greater than 80% of the variability in cranberry fresh biomass accumulation. The most rapid growth rates occurred when temperatures were in this range. High temperatures were limiting in New Jersey while low temperatures were limiting in Oregon and Washington. In one of two seasons, low temperatures were limiting in Wisconsin: accumulation of 0.5 g fresh mass took 11 d longer. Massachusetts had the fewest periods of temperature extremes in both seasons, resulting in the shortest number of days required to accumulate 0.5 g fresh mass.

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