Fall Creek Genetics

Blueberry Variety Innovations for the Nursery & Commercial Fruit Industry Worldwide

As a long-term perennial crop, choosing a blueberry variety is a critical decision with long-term implications. With both fruit and nursery industries maturing, there are growing demands for consistent, ever-improving varieties that meet the needs of growers, retailers, and consumers today. Grower success depends on having access to new varieties that have been thoroughly tested and that are targeted specifically for their needs and marketplace.

It is for these reasons that Fall Creek has been deeply involved in new variety selection, evaluation and trialing since the 1990’s with both our very important university licensor partners as well as in our own private breeding program. We are committed to bringing the very best varieties, whether from our licensor partners’ programs or our own, to any industry we serve.  With nine research sites around the world, the scope of our program includes these use groups:

Machine-Harvest Processed    

Machine-Harvest Fresh

Hand-Harvest Fresh

Ornamental and Home Garden

Here are the hallmarks of our comprehensive Variety Development Program:

  • Fall Creek has a dedicated, in-house research team including a breeder, technicians and research support staff.
  • Fall Creek works closely with other blueberry breeders and trials their advanced material globally to find the best varieties for grower success.
  • We select for low, mid and high chill varieties as well as Rabbiteyes.
  • We conduct trialing of advanced selections in the Fall Creek Global Trial System, including 9 unique geographies around the world with more regions being added.
  • Our internal team and industry associates provide continuous, direct feedback to our breeding team and to our university partners about industry needs and emerging trends.
  • We utilize our own proprietary Variety Development software with in-field data collection.
  • Research data collection and analysis on advanced selections includes planting and growing practices, yield and post-harvest statistics, grower and industry feedback, blind taste tests and review of commercial pressure trials.
  • Selections for true ornamental berry plants has been underway since the 1990s, with key breakthroughs in bush habit, foliage, color, and ease of care.
  • Close coordination with our own private and partner tissue culture laboratories to decrease time from release decisions to plant availability to marketplace.

 

Why Fall Creek?   We’re Focused On Commercial Grower Success

At Fall Creek, we have a comprehensive, unparalleled view of the global blueberry industry. This encompasses an innate understanding of the key issues faced by growers, packers, processors, marketers and retailers as well as consumer behavior as it pertains to blueberry consumption, health research and horticultural sciences.

We have spent three decades scouting the world, to help select and bring you the most advantageous varieties for all regions and uses. Our variety portfolio will include the absolute best selections from both licensor programs as well as from our own breeding program. It takes years of commercial pressure to truly know a variety. We will tell you what we do know, and do our best to tell you what we don’t.

As with any new variety, it’s important to keep in mind that a variety alone does not solve all of a grower’s challenges. Fall Creek is committed to standing by our portfolio and helping to develop the specific management systems for how to best grow each new variety in its respective geography.

Fall Creek offers the broadest portfolio of blueberry varieties of any nursery in the world. We’ve been invested in this industry for more than 30 years and we’re in it for the long haul. It is our passion and we are steadfast in our commitment to growers and the industry around the globe.

 

Why Fall Creek For The Nursery Trade?  Simple, Beautiful, Delicious.

Although traditional blueberry plants have become known for their four-season appeal, the majority of varieties available on the market today were bred and selected based on the needs of the fruit industry.  Plants are tall and leggy for ease of harvest, and are selected primarily for their fruit quality and performance rather than on aesthetic appeal.

At Fall Creek, we knew in the 1990s that given enough time, we could change this and breed berry plants so beautiful and easy to manage, that they would be enjoyable as a true landscape plant that happened to have delicious summer fruit. 

We had three foundational pillars for our ornamental breeding: Simple, Beautiful, and Delicious.  Any release had to be simple to grow, exceptionally beautiful, and delicious, which includes that it must fruit consistently and taste great.

Over time, we became closer to this goal with every subsequent generation, and began to see a vision.  A vision to fundamentally change the way home gardeners enjoy and use berry plants.  Now, we believe we have done it.  Stay tuned for Fall Creek’s first new variety releases.

 

Our Licensor Partners’ Breeding

For decades, Fall Creek has been partnering with the best public and university breeding programs to bring their varieties to the industry. We work in close collaboration with these trusted partners including:

University of Florida

University of Georgia

Michigan State University

North Carolina State University

University of Arkansas

New Zealand Plant & Food Research

USDA ARS (Oregon, New Jersey & Mississippi)

We are deeply proud of our association with these fine partners. We’ll look forward to sharing the latest news of releases from these programs based on our collaborative research performed at their sites, as well as on our own sites in Fall Creek’s global Trial System.

 

Fall Creek Breeding

Since the 1990s, Fall Creek has been operating its proprietary in-house breeding program. As a JV with Hort Research of New Zealand, Fall Creek bought 100% of the program in 2005. It is the largest private blueberry breeding program in the world not connected with a fruit marketing effort, allowing Fall Creek to service whole industries in an independent and creative way, as well as performing niche breeding for specific industry needs.

 

Future Releases

Stay tuned for new variety releases in all territories around the globe.

 

If you are an industry professional and want to learn more about Fall Creek’s variety development program, please give us a call:   1.800.338.3001