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  • Author or Editor: Paul Sumner x
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'Climax' and 'Tifblue' blueberry cultivars were harvested, cooled, and later warmed to room temperature for use in individual berry dropping experiments. Surfaces used were concrete, “Softer NoBruze” and “Poron #7R70-Grey.” Berries in the check were not dropped. Three groups of 25 berries were dropped individually from various heights ranging from .5 ft to 7 ft. Initially, berries were cut to determine percent flesh showing bruising. Later, berries were rolled between fingers and assigned a firmness: firm, medium firm, or soft. The first two firmnesses are considered marketable. Fruit tended to bruise more when harvested later in season. More bruising occurred with higher drop heights. More marketable fruit resulted from thicker padding. Repeated dropping increased bruising. “NoBruze” was superior to “Poron” at any thickness. Many berries in the mechanical harvester have to drop over a foot onto a metal surface; padding these surfaces should increase percent of marketable (undamaged) berry yield.

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