Enabling the Next Frontier of Blueberry Genetics With Massimo Iorizzo, Ph.D.

In this episode of “The Business of Blueberries,” host Kasey Cronquist, president of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) and the North American Blueberry Council (NABC), is joined by North Carolina University Associate Professor Massimo Iorizzo, Ph.D. He was also featured in episode 31 where he helped introduce the Vaccinium Coordinated Ag Project (VacCAP). This program is a nationwide effort to address bottlenecks that limit the advancement of breeding programs in both blueberries and cranberries. He returns to give us an update on the program’s progress in blueberry genetics.

“We ran a survey nationwide … asking the question, what are the breeding priorities that you see need to be advanced? And we collected about 500 responses and the majority said food quality, quality in particular, shelf life, texture and flavor and taste. So that’s why we are focusing on those characteristics for blueberries.” – Massimo Iorizzo, Ph.D.

 Topics covered include:

  • An update on VacCAP, and what the future holds for blueberry genetics.
  • Producers’ priorities for future blueberry genetics.

Crop Report

The Blueberry Crop Report is an update on crop conditions and markets throughout important blueberry growing areas. Today you’ll hear from Derrin Wheeler in Georgia, Matt Macrie in New Jersey, Elise Oliver in California, TJ Hafner in Oregon, Alan Schreiber in Washington and Mario Ramirez in Mexico. This was recorded on May 10, 2023.