[NAFEX] Fwd: New Blueberry Cultivar Released

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Mon Nov 17 10:52:36 EST 2008

From: ARS News Service <NewsService at ars.usda.gov>
Date: November 17, 2008 5:20:48 AM PST
Subject: New Blueberry Cultivar Released
Reply-To: ARS News Service <NewsService at ars.usda.gov>

Presenting Prince, a New Blueberry Cultivar

ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Stephanie Yao, (301) 504-1619, stephanie.yao at ars.usda.gov
November 17, 2008
--View this report online, plus photos and related stories, at 

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have released a new 
early-ripening rabbiteye blueberry cultivar that, when grown with other 
blueberry varieties, will extend the growing and harvesting season in 
the U.S. Gulf Coast region.

The new variety, named Prince, was developed at the ARS Southern 
Horticultural Laboratory in Poplarville, Miss. and tested in Stone 
County and McNeil, Miss., by Stephen Stringer, a research geneticist at 
the Poplarville lab. Prince produced high scores when tested over three 
years in several categories including color, firmness, flavor and size.

The Mississippi climate--with occasional early spring frosts and 
excessive heat and humidity--can be brutal on blueberry farming. Prince 
tends to have an extended bloom period, providing insurance against 
early spring frost. It is also more adapted to the region’s hot and 
humid climate than other varieties. Most notably, Prince ripens four to 
five days earlier than the earliest-ripening rabbiteye blueberry 
varieties, allowing growers to capitalize on the lucrative 
early-season, fresh-blueberry market period.

A cross between MS 598 and Florida 80-11, Prince blueberries are medium 
in size and color with a mild flavor and less tartness than many other 
rabbiteye varieties. The cultivar was named Prince as a result of 
observations by retired ARS scientist and blueberry breeder Arlen 
Draper, who often commented that one has to “kiss a lot of frogs before 
finding a prince.”

Prince is the latest blueberry variety to be released by the ARS 
Poplarville lab. After Hurricane Camille wiped out the region’s tung 
oil industry in 1969, ARS scientists looked to blueberries to help 
growers overcome the economic loss. Today, blueberry growers along the 
Gulf Coast enjoy a competitive advantage over northern growers, since 
they are among the first to provide fruit for the fresh blueberry 
market as well as for processing and juice.

A limited supply of one-year-old plants is available to nurserymen for 
propagation and sale to growers.

ARS is a scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of 


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