Blueberry Chandler – good variety in trade?
In Poland Bluecrop is still the most basic blueberry. It’s valued because of its high cool tolerance but it has not hard fruits. People are planting more Liberty now which is good for trading but is hard to grow in Poland. There is also a lot of Chandler which has good fruits but exporting companies are scared of it. Why is it like this?
These are more errors of prroducers. It’s a weird type and should be cared diffrently than other types so the fruits will be able to get to other side of Europe. There should be made things like:
Blueberry Chandler has hard twigs and thick fruits so there shouldn’t be a lot of cutting. There mustn’t be powerfull cutting to provoke growth of fruits to 25-30mm. These fruits are bad!
It should be left alone for bigger harvest and fruits will have avearge size but they still will be big comparing them to other types.
Best size is 16 to 22mm. It’s a great balance between size and quantity.
Here are a lot of errors because of saving money and overestimating bees in pollination. Flowers of Chandler have other sizes than other types of blueberry. Chandler flowers are very long (11,4mm), with narrow hole (4,1mm)
So the best pollinators are bumblebees. Their tounges are longer and they also give vibrations to flowers (buzz polination).
To get the best results flower needs to have 50-100 seeds and also the type of bumblebee which is active when Chandler is. It’s best to use two types of bumblebees. Flowers need to be pollinated by 2-4 bumblebees and for normal bee 10.
For good pollination of 1 hectar of chandler 10-15 families are needed so 3-5 tripols. Cost of one tripol os 100 Euro so costs can be 400 euro for hectar per year. So producers want to save money and resign from high number of bumblebees.
Harvest of fruits
Here producers make mistakes too. Fruits grow separately and it is needed to leave green blueberries alone.
Other types grow in groups and harvest is easier. So only the best workers with high manual abilities can harvest Chandler. Containers for Chandler can’t be too big because fruits will be damaged. The best of them are mini buckets harvesting capacity of 1-2kg, certified for food contact.
Temperatures in Poland can be really high so fruits can get damaged by sun. In worse cases they can even get burnings. And even when the burnings are not seen it doesn’t mean that insides of the fruit will be fine. So Chandler should have covers. Best covers are Voen so fruits will grow in less light area. But Voen is very expensive, it can cost 40 000-50 000 euro per hectar.
Compromise here are anti-hail nets which reduce light and temperature in the area (it ranges from 4 to 6 Celsius). It guarantees that fruits aren’t in these extreme conditions. They also protect against birds.
It’s not a secret that cooling fruits down is a priority. It should be done as fast as possible, maximal time is 2 hours. But to make happy the reciever of fruits on the other side of Europe it shouldn’t be cooled too long. Fruits after 2 weeks of cooling down can resist another week going to the consumer but it should be avoided. Optimal time is 5 days from harvest. Keeping fruits in cooler for more than 2 weeks can make them much more different than they were on the plant.
These are the things you should pay attention to the cultivation of Chandler.
As a result, the quality will be much higher than Bluecrop. And Chandler should have no problems with their transportation and sale. And for that matter, so that everyone from the manufacturer, the merchant and the consumer was satisfied.