New blueberry BETTER than Sweetcrisp.

bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)March 17, 2014

Those who wanted Raven's read to the bottom.

A fellow board member pointed out to me that the University of Florida through the Florida Foundation Seed Producers had a new variety on their website named Indigocrisp. It is funny because not too long ago I was talking to my commercial BB friend and he told me about a new variety that was coming out but at the time it was not yet named and just known by the numbers (FL-98-325). He was raving about it because it had the ability to be mechanically harvested...big deal to him meaningless to me. Turns out that Indigocrisp was the name they picked for Fl-98-325. For those that like Sweetcrisp it is good news as it scored better than Sweetcrisp on taste...something I did not think was even possible. It has the exact same crunch as Sweetcrisp but the berries are bigger and it is a heavy producer unlike Sweetcrisp. Great news right? Nope......and this is where Raven enters the picture. The University has been having a lot of trouble with unlicensed propagation so now has new rules and these rules pertain not to just the Indigocrisp but also to the entire bird series including the Ravens.

The rules are as follows.....

1. Plants must be purchased in 100+ plant lots unless prior written permission from the Florida Foundation Seed producers is given, they are the licensing arm for the University. They do have the ability to grant waivers for less than 100 plant lots on a case by case basis. Though even if they do grant a waiver that does not compel the commercial license holders to sell to you at all or a lesser number than their own preset minimum. If they have a 250 plant minimum this waiver from the FFSP does not change that.

2. A signed non propagation agreement is required before they can be purchased.

3. The plants can't be resold.

This morning I discussed this with Mr.Beuttenmuller who is the director of the Florida Foundation Seed Producers. I expressed my concern that the system was not fair to the public especially considering the University is a public land grant school. He was very nice about it and explained the why in detail but those are the rules.
What this means is I can't buy Ravens or any of the newer offerings then sell them even if I was selling them for exactly what I paid for them. Even if they did allow that which they don't I am not authorized to get non propagation agreements signed by others. He was nice enough to offer to grant me a waiver but that does not help at all with rule #2 or #3.

Seems we have hit a brick wall, sorry folks.

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Wow, bad news. Any lawyers on the forum?
Maybe they can find a loop-hole?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 4:54PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I found some info about Indigocrisp linked below. I hope it's a commercial success for mechanical harvest. I think that would change the blueberry industry. To me the quality of Sweetcrisp types moves blueberries from a second class to a first class fruit.

They are likely working on crisp fruited cultivars with a range of harvest dates. Home gardeners would benefit sooner or later.

Here is a link that might be useful: Indigocrisp

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 5:19PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

You could sell us pencils, for 20 bucks and each pencil comes with a free plant! I myself have no room, but it sounds like i would have to make room! It will probably be around in 10 years, and I'll probably have no interest at that point. If I'm even still here??

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 6:32PM
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emmers_m(9a/Sunset 7 N Cal)

Set up an escrow account and do a group buy? Everyone signs the agreement beforehand, or gives a lawyer POA limited to the plant purchase?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 9:51PM
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Exciting stuff!!! Sounds promising but we are going to have to grow them and taste them to be sure. Every desription of blues seem to be good untill you grow them your self. I find it amazing how different most cultivars are from one to the next but this one may be special, like Sweetcrisp. I sure hope to find out!!!!!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 10:34PM
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rosieo(7 NC)

I kind of hate to ask this... but... how much does it cost for a hundred plants? If they're selling them as liners, wholesale, maybe it wouldn't be impossible to buy a hundred, even if we only intend to plant 20?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 6:11PM
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I've been contemplating that. Looks like it might be possible to get 100 for $250 before shipping. Perhaps next year I'll look into it more. Too much going on this year to justify $250 more.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 6:13PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)


They would not be liners they would be year old field run bareroot plants......but your estimate is not far off. Just remember that just because the Foundation has a 100 plant minimum that has no effect on the commercial growers as some have 500 plant combined variety minimums. Some will not deal with non commercial growers at all.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 7:53AM
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Thanks Bamboo.

I would be more than happy if can I just buy Indigocrisp from supermarkets even though I can't grow it in my backyard. But I hope they can loose the rules on varieties like Raven, which don't have much commercial value.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 1:07PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Bamboo, just getting caught up with my berries and stone fruits, have had a bit of a whirlwind at work. If you are still able to swing either Raven or Indigocrisp, or both, you can count me in. They both sound great. Love Drew's idea, very clever!

Patty S.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 8:38PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Yeah hey I'm in too, if it ever goes down. On both too. If it helps get it going, if a hassle no worries.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 7:00PM
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Baby G (Z10, 300?CH, SoCal-LA)(10)

Raven and Indiocrisp -- If you don't mind, I'm in too. If it's doable... Escrow, workaround, or whatever works.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 1:11AM
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Raven or Indigo Crisp or any other new variety - please add me on your list. Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 5:22PM
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Please add me on your list as well for either or both Raven or Indigo Crisp. Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2014 at 11:08AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Guys there is no list. No one is getting plants. You're asking to get on a list that doesn't exist.

Pay attention and maybe you can buy your own if willing to buy 50-100 liners. That may be what I end up doing.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2014 at 11:33AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Hopefully they will sell to the public eventually. I'm pretty happy with what i have anyway. At least I have sweetcrisp and can try it, but my area just does not support these southerns. Hopefully the NHB breeders will use these new traits in the future.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2014 at 11:51AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


You can be sure the northern blueberry breeders are using Sweetcrisp or similar to get the crispness characteristic into northern material. If they do those varieties may be hard to get as well. For right now northern growers can try to grow Sweetcrisp like they do figs. The biggest hurdle will be getting Sweecrisp pollinated.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2014 at 12:36PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I have legacy, southmoon, and Cara hoping enough related to pollinate. All those btw are rated to my zone . Sort of the northern southern HB types! I could try others too. I guess the problem is getting them to flower at the same time. Sweetcrisp though is not an early type, well described as early to mid-season ripener by Real Flora. So hopefully they will sync up to the environment. My plant was super skinny, not impressive. new growth is a lot better. But I'm going to have to prune the old weak growth. So no fruit for sure next year. I need to remove fruit anyway as the structure really needs work. My other new plants are big enough and strong enough to fruit. I may allow some fruit, as the plants are doing well and huge for first year plants.
My northern highbush plants which are three years old are turning into giants. I will get an awesome crop next year. All need some pruning.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2014 at 1:00PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


Forget the pruning. Go for some fruit on the Sweetcrisp. It won't fruit enough to hurt the plant, it can't. And you'll never get fruit if you insist on good structure. Fertilize to make it grow and hold it in bounds any way you can. I'm not pruning anything off mine until after harvest.

On any blueberry that's rooted in well you can allow some fruit without damage or slowing growth much. The key is a low crop load. With Emerald that means removing half the crop at the least and 80-90% on a first yr plant. On Sweetcrisp I'm not cutting off any fruit buds ever.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2014 at 1:28PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

OK, will do. It would be nice to see if any flower at the same time anyway. Not sure it will fruit, but we will see.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2014 at 3:30PM
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