North Carolina State University, Washington State University, University of Florida, Michigan State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison & University of Georgia Capitalizing on Cranberries

Both cranberries and blueberries are botanically part of the Vaccinium species. The U.S. Vaccinium industry’s domestic wholesale value exceeds $2 billion per year. Although production and consumption is growing worldwide, the growth of U.S. production has slowed in the past five years. Producers have not yet benefited from advanced breeding technologies used in other crops, which limits their ability to grow new varieties with improved fruit quality and market value.

To improve cranberries and blueberries based on producer and consumer interests, North Carolina State University leads a nationwide, transdisciplinary team that includes researchers from Washington State University, University of Florida, Michigan State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and University of Georgia. Funded by USDA and others, the team’s goal is to leverage genomic resources to develop new cultivars with enhanced quality and attributes (e.g. taste, appearance, disease resistance, nutritional benefits).

Scientists are collaborating to reveal the genetic factors and characteristics that influence fruit quality. The team is exploring genes, traits, and tools in order to develop new DNA tests that will help them speed up selection of varieties with better traits. They are also working to improve production efficiency, handling, processing, and profitability.

By discovering new approaches to improve yields, efficiency, and market value, the team is helping farmers and strengthening the future of our nation’s cranberry and blueberry industries.

Retaking The Field Volume 5 “Retaking the Field Volume 5: Innovation to Profit” explores how federally funded agricultural research strengthens farmers and ranchers’ bottomline by reducing costs and risks, increasing profits, and laying the groundwork for new products and industries. With powerful examples from universities across the country, it describes how research can generate outsized economic benefits that extends for decades. View The Issue
Retaking the Field Volume 5: Innovation to Profit Click to download report

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