||The Philip E. Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension, a substation of the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES), generates and disseminates research information
directly applicable to the production of high-quality blueberries and
cranberries and develops new cultivars for industry.
The Marucci Center was
first established at Whitesbog in 1918 under the direction of C.S. Beckwith.
Although it was originated to focus solely on cranberry problems, research
was gradually devoted to blueberries as the new fledgling cultivated
blueberry industry developed. In 1927 the station was moved to Pemberton
and then, in 1962, to its permanent new research facilities at Chatsworth, NJ.
In addition to
the renowned Beckwith, the substation has been the laboratory for such
notable cranberry scientists as C.A. Doehlert, director from 1944 until
his retirement in 1960; R.B. Wilcox, USDA plant pathologist; F.B. Chandler, horticulturist; and entomologists R.S. Filmer, P.E. Marucci,
and W.E. Tomlinson, Jr. Both Chandler and Tomlinson eventually joined
the staff of the Massachusetts Cranberry Experiment Station.
Today, the modern
research facility, located in the midst of New Jersey's cranberry and
blueberry industry in the Pinelands, is recognized by the federal government
as the national Center for Vaccinium Research. In addition to providing
information on the cultural needs of cranberries and blueberries, the
facility supports an extensive cranberry breeding program in cooperation
with scientists from Massachusetts and Wisconsin.
NJAES and USDA cooperative research at the Marucci Center has a rich history of achievement:
- The first cultivated
highbush blueberry varieties.
- Other successful blueberry varieties such as Duke.
- Successful control methods for insect pests, such as the blueberry
maggot and leafhoppers, that transmit blueberry stunt and cranberry
- Demonstration of the crucial role bees play in pollinating both blueberries
- Techniques for applying fungicides to blueberries and cranberries
with minimal disturbance to the environment.