Feb 13, 2023
IFG names three new varieties in its low-chill line

International Fruit Genetics LLC (IFG) has released the names of three new trademarked cherries in its Cheery Cherry line: Cheery Cupid, Cheery Nebula and Cheery Chap.

IFG has almost 50 patented table grape varieties and 10 patented sweet cherries.

Cheery Cupids
Photo: IFG

The Cheery Cherry line varieties have been bred to thrive in low-chill areas. According to IFG, characteristics and other information about the three new varieties are:

  • Cheery Cupid – Patented as IFG Cher-ten, Cupid is a heart-shaped fruit with a sweet-tart taste that will help usher in the cherry season. It is performing “exceptionally well” in test locations. Fruit from commercial orchards will begin to ship this year from Spain and Chile, and from California in 2024.
  • Cheery Nebula – Patented as IFG Cher-eight, Nebula is a big, round cherry with long green stem and intense taste, and is ready early in the harvest window, with a low chill requirement of less than 300 chill hours.
  • Cheery Chap – Patented as IFG Cher-nine, Chap is another early season variety, with intense color and taste, and a low chill requirement of less than 300 hours.

IFG’s low-chill cherries are all early harvest, meaning they are the first cherry that consumers will see, taste and provide the make-or-break experience that will entice the public to return for future purchases. These new cherries are being grown in California, Spain, Chile, Australia and South Africa.

“IFG is devoted to revolutionizing cherries as we know them – we are changing up the cherry game to Cherry 2.0 in fact,” Alwyn van Jaarsveld, international commercial cherry manager at IFG, said in a news release. “Our committed cherry team works with the latest cutting-edge breeding developments, allowing us to offer an exceptional level of expertise and service to our licensees and ultimately, consumers.”

The IFG cherry program develops early harvest varieties with low to high chill requirements, allowing them to be adaptable to more regions around the world, expanding global cherry production.

Most cherry trees traditionally need 800-1,000 chill hours of temperatures below 45° Fahrenheit, said Antonia Sánchez-Labbé, international technical manager of cherries/country manager of cherries-North America.

“Traditionally, there are many chill requirements to grow a great cherry – but IFG is changing that with our early and ‘low chill’ cherry varieties,” she said in the release.

“Additionally, IFG selects very specifically for our breeding program – not only do we use modern technologies to ensure that the genetic material used in our breeding program is exactly what we are looking for, but we also grow the trees in a typically harsh environment to weed out the weaker progeny and ensure robust, hardy varieties that are grower-friendly and can withstand the rigor of warm, dry summers while still producing a good crop,” Sánchez-Labbé said in the release.

IFG varieties are non-GMO and are tested to maintain quality over weeks of storage to ensure the ability to travel well to both domestic and foreign markets.

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