Preliminary evaluations of the performance of the highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) in Chile

Carlos Muñoz S.1, Iván Godoy A.2, Arturo Lavín A.3 y Jorge Valenzuela B.1

The highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) was introduced to Chile in 1979 by the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INIA). Since then, 17 cultivars have been imported and established for evaluation in some of the following experimental stations: Cauquenes (35º 49' S, 72º 17' W), Carillanca (38°41' S, 73º 17' W), and La Pampa (40°52' S, 73º 12' W). 'Atlantic', 'Berkeley', 'Bluecrop', 'Blueray', 'Concord', 'Coville', 'Earlyblue', 'Herbert', 'Jersey', 'Rancocas', and 'Stanley' have been harvested for at least two growing seasons; therefore, fruit production and quality was measured. Evaluations have shown that the species is able to grow under Chilean conditions, but that both vegetative growth and yield are below the standards for this species. Blooming and ripening periods were shorter in Chile than in the species' native grbwing area. No serious diseases have been detected so far, but the larvae of a native weevil (Aegorhinus supercillosus) caused severe damage to the root system at one location.

1 Estación Experimental La Platina (INIA). Casilla 439. Correo 3, Santiago, Chile.
2 Estación Experimental Carillanca (INlA). Casilla 58-D. Temuco, Chi le.
3 Subestación Experimental Cauquenes (INlA), CasiIla 165, Cauquenes, Chile.