UGA researcher leads project to improve blueberry processing



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ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — An associate professor at the University of Georgia is trying to find a better way to harvest blueberries, the state's leading fruit crop.

WABE Radio reports (http://bit.ly/1F2iXJE ) UGA researchers won a grant of more than $2.3 million from the United States Department of Agriculture to develop projects to help small and mid-sized blueberry growers.

College of Engineering associate professor Changying Li says many blueberries are crushed in the harvesting process and can't be sold in supermarkets. Li is leading a project involving 10 universities to develop a semi-mechanical blueberry harvester to preserve blueberry quality during the harvesting process.

Li has developed a recording device to measure damage to blueberries as they're sent through a packing plant in hopes of helping farmers improve harvests and cutting consumer costs.

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Information from: WABE-FM, http://www.wabe.org/

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The Associated Press

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