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recently, Brazelton (2013) reported an increased interest in using machine harvest among SHB cultivars, particularly for use in machine harvest for fresh fruit (MFF) marketing. An ideal highbush blueberry plant for machine harvest was first described by

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The blueberry cultivar situation in North America is undergoing rapid change. Attempts to grow blueberries in non-traditional areas, and increased biotic and abiotic challenges in traditional production areas, are fueling the search for superior, adapted cultivars. This survey of all blueberry-producing states/provinces in the United States and Canada provides the current status and projected trends in blueberry cultivar use in North America. Most (86%) of current hectarage is comprised of 25 northern highbush, 10 rabbiteye, and two southern highbush cultivars. `Bluecrop' is the dominant northern highbush cultivar, with 35% of the highbush area, while `Tifblue' occupies 40% of the rabbiteye area. Some historically important cultivars, such as `Jersey', `Weymouth', and `Woodard' are in decline. New cultivars of all blueberry types are beginning to have a positive impact on the blueberry industry.

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the rainy summer months. Planting densities vary depending on the cultivars but the most common are between 1600 and 2800 plants/acre ( Lyrene and Williamson, 1997 ). Flowering of southern highbush blueberry occurs from January to March and most of the

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× velvetleaf blueberry ( Vaccinium myrtilloides ) crosses that resulted in smaller fruit size and later ripening compared with intraspecific lowbush crosses. Similarly, Gupton and Spiers (1994) found that SHB cultivars pollinated with rabbiteye pollen had

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Southern highbush blueberry, a hybrid of northern highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum) and southern-adapted Vaccinium species, has the potential to meet the need for an early-ripening blueberry in the southern U.S. southern highbush cultivars can ripen up to one month earlier than the earliest rabbiteye (Vaccinium ashei) cultivars currently grown in the southern U.S. However, chilling requirement and cold-hardiness are cultivar-dependent for southern highbush and cultivar testing has been necessary to determine the cultivars best adapted to specific hardiness zones. In a 4-year study at Hope, Ark. (hardiness zone 7b), several southern highbush cultivars were evaluated for productivity, fruit quality and reliability of cropping. Yields were based on 1089 plants/acre (2690 plants/ha) for southern highbush cultivars and 605 plants/acre (1494 plants/ha) for rabbiteye cultivars. `Ozarkblue' and `Legacy' showed the most adaptability at this location, yielding on average 11,013 lb/acre (12,309 kg·ha-1) and 10,328 lb/acre (11,543 kg·ha-1) respectively, compared to 4882 lb/acre (5456 kg·ha-1) for `Premier' (rabbiteye) over 4 years. `Ozarkblue' and `Legacy' also rated well for plant vigor and fruit quality. We would recommend `Ozarkblue' and `Legacy' for commercial planting in southwest Arkansas and believe these cultivars have production potential for other areas of the southern U.S. that have similar hardiness zones and soil type to southwest Arkansas.

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contributions of Max Austin, Jim Ballingn, Creighton Gupton, Jim Moore, and Jim Spiers to testing and developing these cultivars and we thank them for contributing performance data.

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; Smittle and Miller, 1988 ). However, a number of new cultivars have been released since these studies were undertaken and little work has been done to optimize the postharvest keeping quality of ‘Elliott’ blueberry fruit, the latest-ripening cultivar grown

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exceptions, are exclusively hand harvested if destined for fresh market ( Strik and Yarborough, 2005 ). In southern Georgia, southern highbush blueberry cultivars ripen in late April and early May. Rabbiteye blueberries (≈12,000 acres), in contrast, are often

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water-soaked cells, darkened tissue, or both. In 2011, SH blueberry cultivars (Farthing, Primadonna, Scintilla, Sweetcrisp) and selections (FL 05-528, FL 06-556) and a cultivar with sparkleberry in its pedigree (Meadowlark) were used in a drop test. Hand

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Rabbiteye blueberries ( Vaccinium virgatum ) are more resistant to mechanical harvesting and have been MH for fresh market for many years. Mainland et al. (1975) studied the quality of HH highbush blueberry ( Vaccinium corymbosum ) cultivars

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