Do you use flesh firmness as a maturity index for blueberries? If so, what is...

Asked August 18, 2017, 12:12 PM EDT

Do you use flesh firmness as a maturity index for blueberries? If so, what is the range of firmness that should be used to harvest and / or ship?

Virginia Beach Virginia blueberries

1 Response

No, I am not aware of any firmness standards or harvest indexes. Once they are soft they generally cannot handle much travel. Smaller growers often harvest too late because they do not have enough labor to pick a field. Rain and hot weather can soften the fruit as well and we had an episode of soft fruit this season. We do have soft sorters on the packing lines now, right after the color sorter and soft fruit is kicked out and generally sent to juice or to be frozen. The amount of soft fruit can be very high especially with SWD.