28 Dec 2019

DUKE BLUEBERRY: VARIETY FACT SHEET

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Vaccinium corymbosum - unregistered variety

The blueberries Duke variety is the main variety of blueberry early maturing 'Northern Highbush' type.

Northern Highbush is a type of blueberry originating in the northern and northeastern parts of the United States and has been marketed for over 100 years. It is the most popular type worldwide for production in temperate and continental climates; it requires a certain amount of winter chill.

According to a more detailed classification introduced by Fall Creek, Duke is a High Chill variety, suitable for latitudes around 42°, with a climate where the four seasons are distinct and winters cold.

Duke is a variety known for its high yields of uniform, quality fruit. The delicate flavour seems to improve with cold storage. Maintaining the plant vigour of blueberries Duke over the long term can be a challenge. Growers must choose a quality growing location and continually employ good cultural practices. blueberry Duke is a prime candidate for mechanical harvesting, fresh produce and processing.

According to Fall Creek, Duke's main characteristics are:

  • Gauge: L
  • Main use: fresh and industrial
  • Fruit characteristics: light blue, firm, delicate flavor
  • Plant bearing: stocky, vertical
  • Seasonality: very early
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DUKE IS STILL THE EARLY REFERENCE VARIETY FOR THE NORTH... THE PLANT IS EXTREMELY ADAPTABLE TO MANY CLIMATES AND GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS. IT IS VERY RESISTANT TO WINTER IN THE FAR NORTH, AND VERY RESISTANT TO HOT SUMMER IN SOUTHERN EUROPE.

Andrea Pergher (Technical Support - Fall Creek)

Plantgest - Variety particularly interesting for the Piedmontese areas, characterized by a marked precocity of ripening. It can currently be considered the reference variety for new plantings. Good tolerance of plants to winter frost. The bush has a strong vigour and growth, an upright habit, with a well-distributed production, easy to harvest and, moreover, it has rigid and erect shoots. Late flowering and early ripening. The productivity is very good. Fruits of medium size, intense blue colour rich in bloom, with consistent flesh and a very good and aromatic taste.

Veimaro Nurseries - The blueberry American Duke is a variety with excellent vigour, a compound and upright habit and excellent cold resistance. The fruits are very large and ripen early, suitable for all uses, they are crunchy with an excellent compromise between sweet and sour. In addition, production is high and storage and resistance to handling are excellent. In our opinion, this is a very good variety, both in terms of the plant and the fruit, with an excellent taste. Early reference variety.

Berryverona - Resistant variety, very good productivity, can reach 1.4 m in height. It blooms late but ripens early, avoiding possible late frosts. The distribution of the fruit favours both mechanical and manual harvesting, medium size and excellent quality. The taste improves after refrigeration and tends to be bland if harvested late, excellent shelf life. It is among the most appreciated early varieties.

Blueberry Italy - The Duke variety has been cultivated in the USA since 1986. The bush is straight and expansive and reaches a height of 1.3 to 1.8 m, while the shoots are stiff and upright. The plant requires regular pruning to ensure good fruit quality and a consistent harvest. The blueberries are gathered in terminal clusters and are medium to large in size, while the smooth, compact skin is characterised by its particular 'crunchiness'. The berries have an excellent taste, especially after refrigeration. The Duke variety is suitable for direct consumption as well as processing and is well suited to transport and freezing. Being an early cultivar, the fruit ripens by mid-July. Highly valued for its regular and abundant harvest, it is considered one of the most profitable varieties. It is not suitable for too cold and humid locations.

Agrion - In the assessment of the main varieties of blueberry carried out in 2019 by Agrion (the foundation for research, innovation and technological development in Piedmontese agriculture that has been observing the main varieties of blueberry for years), the characteristics of Duke are summarised as follows:

STRENGTHS

  • Reference Cultivar
  • High demand in cold
  • Medium-high vigour, expanded.
  • Fruit of good size and excellent pomological characteristics.
  • Good, balanced taste
  • The first variety to lose its leaves in autumn

CRITICALITY

  • Average productivity
  • Requires rational pruning in order to promote a good emission of new shoots.

Earth and Life - The Duke variety has the following characteristics:

AWARDS

Resistant to cold, fruits well distributed in the foliage, easy to pick, attractive and light colour, rich in bloom, aromatic, good organoleptic characteristics. Very productive.

DEFECTS

A bush of medium vigour that sometimes requires support during the production period. Modest emission of suckers if not adequately stimulated by pruning. Fruit unsuitable for long conservation.


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