Fall Creek Farm & Nursery is to release five new varieties this month in its new licensing option for commercial growers.
In late 2019, the company officially launched The Fall Creek Collection, its new blueberry genetics and services offering that provides growers with an assured pipeline of blueberry varieties for all chill levels, as well as technology transfer and horticultural support services through the company’s applied research and grower support teams.
The new varieties, whose names are pending, include four developed for mid- and high-chill growing regions and one more for low chill climates.
Initial varieties already available in the collection include three for no chill climates—AtlasBlue, BiancaBlue and JupiterBlue . These have been trialled in Mexico, Peru, Iberia and Morocco and selected for their superior fruit quality. Initial commercial evaluation of these varieties in low chill regions is showing promise.
“The Fall Creek Collection is the first global genetics and services ecosystem for all chill levels in blueberries,” said co-CEO Cort Brazelton.
“The model is built to optimise flexibility and the independence of professional growers and grower-marketers who want to plan for future business growth with confidence while reducing the risk of adopting new varieties.”
At a time when access to the best blueberry genetics is both increasingly costly and restrictive for fruit producers, the company said the new collection offers simplicity in access together with increased technical engagement and agility for blueberry businesses focused on the future. The fee structure is simple and subscription based.
“We are investing in expanding the team and delivering substantial enhancements in technical information and guidelines on how to optimise these varieties,” said commercial director Jason Wolcott. “Wherever you’re growing blueberries, we have new genetics for you to investigate.”
Licensees in the Fall Creek Collection can expect access to current and new varieties as well as a pipeline of future releases from Fall Creek’s high, mid, low and no chill breeding programmes.
“As we expand our global applied research initiatives, licensees of The Fall Creek Collection will not only have access to trial sites, but also opportunities to evaluate current releases and advance selections under commercial management systems,” said director of product development Matt Kramer.
“The real-world conditions and scale will allow us to identify practices that will bring out the best of each genotype, to optimise yield and post-harvest characteristics while reducing harvest costs.”
In a business environment where innovation is in high demand, the risk of adopting new varieties is increasing for blueberry growers.
“Our job at Fall Creek is to continuously strive to reduce that risk for our grower-customers,” said Brazelton. “We’re here to help accelerate the adoption of new varieties and innovations so professional growers can be protected while the offering to consumers continuously improves.”