• Preview Plant Program

For a commercial blueberry operation, selecting varieties for new plantings is one of the most important decisions a grower makes.

The blueberry industry is experiencing ever-increasing numbers of new variety introductions. We understand the confusion this creates for growers. It is our goal to help growers make important varietal decisions with more clarity and confidence than ever before.

At Fall Creek®, in addition to our expanded breeding program, we are making significant investments in applied research. Our goal is to bring you more detailed variety and technical information and support, and deliver it to you earlier in the variety launch process. Rest assured, we will always be honest and tell you want we know and what we don’t yet know.

The bottom line? For a grower to really mitigate risk and know if a variety is right, it is important to test its commercial viability in your own fields.

Please allow us to introduce Fall Creek®’s Plant Preview Program.

  • Maberry Duke Day 1 planting sept13

What Exactly Is Fall Creek®’s Plant Preview Program?

At Fall Creek®, we want you to feel confident when you make a significant investment in a new variety. That’s why we have formalized our Plant Preview Program. We believe it’s important to experience our varieties right in your own commercial operation alongside your other varieties and under the same types of commercial pressures and horticultural care so you see how they perform.
To optimize beneficial outcomes with preview plants, we recommend you purchase a preview quantity of 100-200 plants per variety and plant them in rows right in your commercial plant blocks – not off in another field or trial site somewhere. Apply the same horticultural care practices as your other commercial blueberry plantings or, better yet, follow the variety-specific care as advised by our Fall Creek® Grower Support Representatives and outlined in our Variety Management Guides (as available).

This practice provides the truest test of how a variety will perform in your location and under your farm’s practices. 

If the variety performs well, you can place significant orders with greater confidence for expanded plantings.

  • PXL_20230104_201034694

Preview Plants: Tips & Reminders from Dan Ambrosi

Dan Ambrosi, from our Applied Research team, offers these tips and best practices in order to optimize your Preview Plant experience. Your Fall Creek® Grower Support Representative also stands ready to provide any additional technical support you may need.

  • Treat preview plants just like any new plants on your farm.
  • Put the preview area on its own irrigation valve, if possible, to optimize irrigation control.
  • Make sure soil is properly prepared and address any pH, insect, or fungal issues before planting preview plants.
  • Follow any specific establishment recommendations your Grower Support representative gives you.
  • Pay close attention to what matters to you the most, bud break timing, bloom timing, harvest window.
  • Be sure to properly prune the plants to optimize fruit quality and yield potential in your field.
  • Proper fertility management is key to making the preview plants succeed.
  • Reach out to your Grower Support representative with any issues that you notice.
  • _MG_4443

What Fall Creek® Varieties Can I Preview?

If you’re interested in a variety Fall Creek® features anywhere in our Fall Creek® Collection or open catalog portfolios, you can preview it. We understand that even longer-established, and open catalog varieties like Blue Ribbon or Ventura are new to some growers.

  • ArabellaBlueIMG_6416
  • PeachyBlueZF08-029 cluster
  • LoretoBlue FC11-118 HM18_0010 10

Here are just a few of the latest introductions that you may wish to consider for Preview Plants:

  • AzraBlue® ‘FCM14-031’
    • FRUIT SIZE: Large
    • FRUIT QUALITIES: Medium blue, firm, sweet & acidic
    • BUSH HABIT: Round, high yields
    • RIPENING SEASON: Early Season
  • ArabellaBlue® ‘FC14-062’
    • FRUIT SIZE: Large
    • FRUIT QUALITIES: Aromatic, juicy, crunchy
    • BUSH HABIT: Very vigorous, adaptable
    • RIPENING SEASON: Early/Mid Season
  • PeachyBlue ‘ZF08-029’
    • FRUIT SIZE: Medium-Large
    • FRUIT QUALITIES: Juicy, firm, peach-like flavor
    • BUSH HABIT: Wide with narrow crown
    • RIPENING SEASON: Early/Mid Season
  • LoretoBlue® ‘FC11-118’
    • FRUIT SIZE: Large
    • FRUIT QUALITIES: Very firm, very aromatic
    • BUSH HABIT: Round, very uniform
    • RIPENING SEASON: Mid/Late Season
  • LunaBlue® ‘FC12-205’
    • FRUIT SIZE: Large
    • FRUIT QUALITIES: Light blue, firm, sweet
    • BUSH HABIT: Upright with many laterals
    • RIPENING SEASON: Late Season
  • LunaBlue IMG_5760 cluster

Do I Need to Pay Program Fees and Royalties During the Preview Period with Fall Creek™ Collection Varieties?

We defer the variety access fee and production royalties during the preview period. This helps to ensure easier access and minimizes grower investment while previewing new varieties. You simply pay for the plants, plant royalties, and shipping.

During the preview period, if you’re pleased with the variety’s performance and you want to add it to your commercial operations, just talk with your Fall Creek® representative.

  • Liter Pot_IMG_8838_wider adjusted_LG

Are You Ready To Preview Your Future?

Talk to our Fall Creek® representative in your area to learn more about our varieties and how to begin your journey in Fall Creek®’s Plant Preview Program. We welcome you.

For more information on the Fall Creek™ Collection: https://www.fallcreeknursery.com/variety-innovations/fall-creek-collection.

For more information on all Fall Creek® varieties: https://www.fallcreeknursery.com/commercial-fruit-growers/varieties.