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New Blueberry Cultivar Bred in China: Big Size, Early Harvest and High Yields

May 08, 2023

According to a news report by China’s Science and Technology Daily, professor Chen Riyuan and his team at South China Agricultural University have successfully developed a new blueberry cultivar featuring a super large size, with some berries even exceeding 42 millimeters in diameter.

In China, blueberries are typically categorized into three grades: 12 to 14 millimeters, 14 to 18 millimeters and 18 millimeters or more. Those produced in Yunnan province have an additional grade of 22 millimeters or more. Despite being more expensive on account of their limited quantities, large blueberries still enjoy strong market demand. The berry diameter of the new cultivar is typically two to three times that of regular blueberries, with medium to large fruits boasting diameters ranging from 18 to 25 millimeters and jumbo ones surpassing 26 millimeters.

After eight years of research and development, the new cultivar is regarded as highly suitable for cultivation in the humid climate of southern China. Apart from its large size, this cultivar is characterized by a plump and crispy flesh and an average sugar content ranging from 12% to 14%, with some berries reaching as high as 16.9%. In China, domestically produced blueberries usually supply the market from April to September, while imported ones are available from June to December. However, this new variety is expected to be able to hit the market as early as January and remain available until April. Furthermore, while most blueberry cultivars take at least three years to bear fruit, this new cultivar needs only one year to reach high production if planted properly. Moreover, its yield is three to four times that of typical cultivars.

To date, 15 production bases have begun growing the new cultivar, with a total planting area in excess of 166 hectares. Numerous fruit chains, supermarkets, e-commerce platforms and fruit export companies have reportedly contacted professor Chen’s team for potential cooperation.

Image: Science and Technology Daily

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