What’s new and exciting?
2011 and 2012 gave us something new but certainly not exciting. It was the discovery of SWD larva (spotted wing drosophila) in blueberry fruit late in the season. If you haven’t had this pest you probably will as it has spread in many areas of the US and Canada. Early detection by trapping will be critical; you will need to start a spray program to keep SWD out of the blueberries. Don’t let this pest catch you off your guard in 2013.
Over the past few years, I have written about the new MSU release ‘Draper’. In the 2012 season it was the most impressive cultivar I have seen in the mid-season ripening time. I am not sure how a bush could grow any more fruit. The quality and size is excellent and the fruit can be stored for several weeks in a cooler. The fruit is very crunchy with an excellent flavor. This was the first year we mechanically picked ‘Draper’ for fresh fruit. I was impressed. ‘Draper’ has the potential to be the number 1 cultivar for mechanization for fresh fruit.
We also mechanically picked for the first time ‘Liberty’ and ‘Aurora’ for fresh fruit. Both cultivars picked well and we were successful in packing and shipping the fresh fruit.
‘Huron’ is the latest release from MSU. It appears to be as good as ‘Draper’ but ripens a week earlier. ‘Huron’ will be a perfect variety between ‘Duke’ and ‘Draper’ in your plantings.