[nafex] FW: ARS Research Helps Blueberry Growers

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Thu Sep 14 12:02:49 EDT 2000


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This item is one of the news releases and story leads that ARS Information
distributes on weekdays to fax and e-mail subscribers. You can also get the
latest ARS news on the World Wide Web at
www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/thelatest.htm.
* Feedback and questions to ARS News Service via e-mail: isnv at ars-grin.gov.
* ARS Information Staff, 5601 Sunnyside Ave., Room 1-2251, Beltsville MD
20705-5128, (301) 504- 1617, fax (301) 504-1648.
----------
From: "ARS News Service" <isnv at ars-grin.gov>
To: "ARS News List" <ars-news at ars-grin.gov>
Subject: ARS Research Helps Blueberry Growers
Date: Thu, Sep 14, 2000, 7:05 AM


STORY LEAD:
ARS Research Helps Blueberry Growers
___________________________________________

ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Tara Weaver-Missick, (301) 504-1619, tmissick at ars.usda.gov
September 14, 2000
___________________________________________

Thanks to research accomplishments at the ARS Small Fruit Research Station
in Poplarville, Miss., farmers from Mississippi and other Gulf Coast States
have become a presence in the blueberry market.

The Poplarville station has released six new blueberry varieties to date,
including Jubilee, Magnolia, Pearl River, Cooper and Gulfcoast, which are
all available commercially.  Biloxi, the newest blueberry, was recently
released in honor of Biloxi, Mississippi's 300th birthday.

Typically, southern blueberry growers are small farmers who net about $2,000
an acre.  The total blueberry acreage in Mississippi is about 1,800 acres,
and there are about 10,000 acres in the Gulf States region.  Total U.S.
production of fresh and processed blueberries in 1999 was 180.2 million
pounds, valued at $156 million.

ARS researchers help these farmers by developing new varieties and improving
cultural practices, pest control and postharvest handling.

ARS researchers are also investigating bee pollinators that may potentially
help the Southeast's blueberry production, given the lack of native
blueberry pollinators.

The Osmia ribifloris bee, which is native to the western United States, is a
promising pollinator.  In its native range, the bee gathers pollen from
manzanita, a shrub like tree with flowers that closely resemble those of
blueberries.  Poplarville researchers are developing strategies for growers
to release and manage these bees.

ARS researchers have also undertaken a new project in which they are
screening southern cultivated and wild berries, including blueberries, for
their resveratrol-producing potential.  Preliminary evidence suggests
resveratrol has anti-cancer properties and cardiovascular benefits.

ARS is the chief scientific agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The blueberry research in Mississippi is part of a nationwide program of
horticulture research within ARS.  For more information on ARS research
programs that impact on horticulture, visit the web page for ARS Crop
Production, Product Value and Safety national programs at:
http://www.nps.ars.usda.gov/programs/cppvs.htm

More information on this research appears in the September issue of
Agricultural Research magazine. The story is also on the World Wide Web:
 http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/sep00/bliss0900.htm

___________________________________________

Scientific contact: James M. Spiers, ARS Small Fruits Research Laboratory,
Poplarville, Miss.; phone (601) 795-8751, fax (601) 795-4965,
jspiers at ars.usda.gov.
___________________________________________
This item is one of the news releases and story leads that ARS Information
distributes on weekdays to fax and e-mail subscribers. You can also get the
latest ARS news on the World Wide Web at
www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/thelatest.htm.
* Feedback and questions to ARS News Service via e-mail: isnv at ars-grin.gov.
* ARS Information Staff, 5601 Sunnyside Ave., Room 1-2251, Beltsville MD
20705-5128, (301) 504- 1617, fax (301) 504-1648.









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