20 Sep 2020



The demand for blueberries consumption has not stopped growing and all projections indicate that, due to its healthy qualities and the vast knowledge the world has gained about the fruit, consumption will increase even more in the new post-pandemic scenarios.


Jorge Nanjari, Viveros Sunny Ridge

The challenge is to meet consumer demands, and within this framework, genetic researchers are striving to obtain plant varieties that guarantee better fruit quality , as well as being able to reach increasingly distant destinations in good conditions, be more productive, cope with water shortages and adapt to increasingly diverse climates and soils.


In SunnyRidge Nurseries' offer for the Chilean industry, the varieties MegasBlue and Titanium were launched, which correspond to the Northern Highbush with high cold requirements, especially for the southern part of Chile.

Experts have been observing for some time that for various reasons the cultivation of blueberries in Chile could move south significantly, mainly due to the effects of climate change and also in search of a late harvest. In addition to the abundant availability of water in the area.

SunnyRidge Nurseries, despite its long presence in the Chilean industry, is the first time it has offered Northern Highbush varieties to domestic growers and this time it is doing so by offering these two potent varieties.


It is a variety with high cold requirements, upright growth, excellent vigour and high productivity (20 to 25 tonnes/ha). The fruit size is large, with a consistent blue colour and good flowering. It has a good flavour and a high level of brix degrees, or sweetness. It is a very concentrated harvesting variety and suitable for mechanical harvesting. Its fruits are firm and without red berries, with a good post-harvest life.


Titanium | Blueberry | plants365

Titanium is also a Northern Highbush variety with high cold requirements, special for the southern part of Chile because it can withstand very low winter temperatures.

The size of the fruit is between 17 and 20 mm, with a light blue colour and a very good flowering, without red fruit. It produces a very firm fruit, which gives it a long post-harvest life. It is a crisp fruit variety with a good brix level and a very good taste.

"Both varieties are very well suited for cold weather conditions, suitable for the area from Chillán to the south, including the southernmost part, and we believe they will be a contribution and a good substitute to traditional varieties," says Nanjari.


Jorge Nanjari, representative of Sunny Ridge Nurseries, in his presentation of new varieties for the Latin American market, shared the characteristics of four licenses of TH varieties, from the University of Georgia, which correspond to the Southern Highbush, low or very low chill requirements. They are of more concentrated harvest, which allows them to take advantage of better price windows in the market and have a lower cost of harvest.

The destination of these selections is planned for Peru (TH944 and TH1321), Colombia (TH944, TH1321 and TH1872) and Ecuador (TH944, TH1321, TH1870 and TH1872). They are varieties with exceptional flavour and high firmness, with very small and dry scars, firm fruit, vigorous growth and high productivity.

They are varieties with shorter flowering and fruit periods, which gives advantages in places where there are frosts, and they are less exposed to fungi such as Botrytis, which is very important in the post-harvest life of the fruit.


Jorge Nanjari emphasises the need to renew varieties and to take advantage of the abundant supply in the nursery sector: "Every day new territories with their own characteristics are being incorporated and more and more business models are emerging, with free varieties, royalty per plant, royalty per fruit, club type, rental, etc. ". On the other hand, every day consumers are more informed and look for a particular flavour, texture and condition," he comments.

Nanjari explains that SunnyRidge Nurseries has always made the varieties it markets available to all growers, and has avoided distorting the market or favouring some over others.

"We don't force the fruit to be delivered to anyone and we don't limit the availability of plants (...) we only charge a royalty (in the case of protected varieties) that goes entirely to the breeders, which allows us to finance the Genetic Improvement Programmes," he concludes.

Source: Blueberriesconsulting

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